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Everyone Loves Pepe Reina

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Thanks to a convincing display against Wigan, Pepe Reina's colleagues were quick to identify the keeper's important role in the win.

Julian Finney

Pepe Reina's dip in form the last few seasons has been well documented, but Saturday's 4-0 clean sheet against Wigan produced a vintage display from the Spaniard that had his teammates singing his praises.

"As we won comfortably in the end, some people won’t see how important Pepe was against Wigan but as players we appreciate it," said perennial interview favourite Stewart Downing. "Sometimes it can be hard for a keeper. Us outfield players make many mistakes in games but they don’t lead to anything. If a keeper makes a mistake generally it ends up in the back of the net. It’s a tough position to play.

"That save at 2-0 was really important. At 2-1 it would have been a different game. But Pepe kept it out and we pushed on, got the third goal and then it was easy for us."

Daniel Agger also piled on the compliments, speaking to Reina's reliability when he's in peak form.

"Pepe was world class against Wigan," said Agger. "He had a few great saves and he deserves a lot of credit for his performance.

"It says it all if you can have a goalkeeper you can rely on at the back, both with the feet and on the line. Against Wigan, he showed the best of himself."

Reina's best hasn't made too many appearances between the posts this season and, when combined with Liverpool's inconsistent defensive displays, it's somewhat surprising that the club’s eleven clean sheets in the league are second only to Manchester City’s tally of thirteen.

Reina himself is joint second with Chelsea's Petr Cech for most shutouts with ten, and both are only three back from Joe Hart's total. City's keeper could tie Reina's Golden Glove record by winning the award for the third straight season, but it should be encouraging that in spite of more than a few dodgy moments earlier this season, Reina is still a genuine contender for the honour.