LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND - Sunday, July 31, 2022: Liverpool'sSepp van den Berg during a pre-season friendly match between Liverpool FC and RC Strasbourg Alsace at Anfield. Strasbourg won 3-0. (Pic by David Rawcliffe/Propaganda)

Liverpool loanee helps seal first Bundesliga win after 483-day gap

After 483 days without a win in the German top flight, having seen relegation and promotion in between, Sepp van den Berg helped Schalke to victory on Saturday.

While Liverpool were not in action over the weekend due to the Queen’s passing, that was not the case for the club’s overseas loanees.

On Saturday evening, Van den Berg made his second start since joining Schalke at the end of August, following up a 1-1 draw at Stuttgart with a home clash with Bochum.

The Dutchman partnered ex-Southampton defender Maya Yoshida at the heart of the defence, in a side that began the weekend 15th in the Bundesliga table.

With three draws and two defeats to their name previous, Schalke were desperate for their first win of the campaign – and securing a 3-1 triumph, it marked their first in the top flight in 483 days, having spent last season in the second tier.

Their first of the evening came when Manuel Riemann spilled a Marius Bulter shot into the path of Dominick Drexler, who converted with ease, only for Simon Zoller to level for Bochum soon after half-time.

Schalke got back in front via a brilliant free-kick from Tobias Mohr, turned into his own net by Erhan Masovic, before Sebastian Polter clinched the 3-1 with a strike in the sixth minute of stoppage time.

The celebrations were wild, with the significance of Schalke’s maiden win of the Bundesliga season not lost on anyone in the Veltins-Arena.

It continued an impressive start to life on loan for Van den Berg, who made the second-most interceptions (three) and clearances (seven) of any player, along with winning the third-most aerial duels for Schalke (two).

Speaking to Schalke’s official website in the buildup to the clash with Bochum, Van den Berg attested to the spirit within the side, saying he has “felt at home from the first day.”

“It is important that there is a good understanding among the back four,” he explained.

“This is helped by the fact the team gets on so well with each other.”

The 20-year-old was the only Liverpool loanee involved on Saturday, with Anderson Arroyo an unused substitute during Alaves’ 2-1 victory over Lugo.

Billy Koumetio could feature on Sunday, though, as Austria Wien take on Hartberg, the Frenchman hoping to make his seventh start for the club.