Some eyes may have started to shift towards the weekend's important league match against third-place Tottenham, but Brendan Rodgers still found time today to add his voice to the growing Pepe Reina love-in that has followed in the wake of Saturday's 4-0 victory over Wigan.
"I said to the players afterwards that was an outstanding performance from Pepe," said the Liverpool manager. "He made big saves at critical moments. Sometimes goals, especially away from home, can change the momentum of games, but Pepe was focused throughout."
After stumbling through the first half of the season and being at the centre of rumours linking him away from the club, a recent return to something of his old form has led to a loud chorus of renewed support for the Liverpool 'keeper that suggests his time at the club might not be quite over yet.
A series of strong stops that kept Liverpool in control on Saturday made for what was likely Reina's best performance in a Liverpool shirt in years, a feat worthy of congratulation but one that also must give pause. As well as he played against Wigan, the truth is that in recent season such displays have become all too rare.
While it might be wise to see if Reina can deliver a few more vintage performances the rest of the way before declaring his return to preeminence, though, it would be churlish to overlook just how well he did play over the weekend. It's also worth noting his role in Liverpool's first goal with a well placed ball over the top reminiscent of his best distribution during the club's 2009 title challenge.
"His pass for the first goal to Philippe Coutinho opened up the pitch really well," noted Rodgers, adding that Reina was "deserving of his clean sheet—our 11th in the league this season."
On the day he certainly was, and for Liverpool fans both old and new it was a great sight to see. But perhaps the more important issue is the question of whether he can do the same on Sunday against Tottenham, and then the week after against Southampton, and then on through the remainder of the season.
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