A level scoreline in their two legged tie against Zenit in the Europa League wasn't enough for Liverpool on Thursday night, as the Russians snuck through thanks to the away goal rule and Liverpool's inability to put their chances away last week in St. Petersburg.
Liverpool, though, certainly put on a show trying to make up for the two goal deficit they headed into last night's match with, and despite what became in the end a tough exit from the competition, Pepe Reina was quick to thank the fans for the role they played in their efforts to mount an improbable comeback.
"Thanks [to the Kop]. They've been brilliant, as they always are," said Reina following the match. "They were with us even more when we conceded the goal. That's something to be very happy about and I feel very proud.
"We're disappointed because we didn't get through but we have to be proud of what we did. We went out with our heads held high. All we could do was try our best and that's exactly what we did. We showed great character, especially after the goal—we just gave our best more than ever. We fought during the 90 minutes for our lives. We showed passion out there.
"We're not happy because we went out but that's football."
Now it will be up to Liverpool's players, including Reina, to show that they can take recent performances against Swansea and Zenit and keep playing like that in the coming weeks rather than falling into the pattern that has plagued the club this season where a run of strong play is inevitably followed by a series of disappointing results.
With only eleven games remaining and Liverpool nine points back of Tottenham in fourth—and with Spurs holding a game in hand—a return to the Champions League seems all but mathematically impossible. But according to Reina, Liverpool's goal no longer involves any particular target. All that matters now is winning.
"To win and win is the only target," he added. "We need to go step by step, try to climb up the table and make sure we win as many games as possible. We can only focus on the next game."
With Liverpool getting the weekend off after their match against Swansea was moved ahead due to the Welsh side's place in Sunday's League Cup final, that next game comes next weekend with a visit to Wigan.
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