Luis Suarez may have got the headlines with a hat-trick in Liverpool’s 4-0 win at the DW Stadium, but the Anfield boss believes the goalkeeper’s contribution was just as important
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers believes Pepe Reina was just as important to the Reds’ 4-0 win over Wigan as hat-trick hero Luis Suarez.
The Uruguayan put the Latics to the sword with three goals after Stewart Downing opened the scoring, but Rodgers insists Reina’s string of acrobatic saves to keep the hosts at bay were just as impressive.
The Reds goalkeeper also had a part to play in Liverpool’s first goal as his long pass found Phillipe Coutinho who then went on to cross for Downing to head in.
“I said to the players afterwards that was an outstanding performance from Pepe,” Rodgers told the club’s official website.
“He made big saves at critical moments. Sometimes goals, especially away from home, can change the momentum of games, but Pepe was focused throughout.
“His pass for the first goal to Philippe Coutinho opened up the pitch really well. He was deserving of his clean sheet – our 11th in the league this season.”
The win at Wigan was Liverpool’s biggest away victory of the season and the former Swansea manager believes the hard work put in at the club’s Melwood training ground is now paying dividends.
Rodgers continued: “Going into the last quarter of the season you can see the players have comfort in this way of working – the style and the system.
“Three of our four goals at Wigan were built from the back by playing fast football. We’ve said it’s about tactical discipline as well and it’s very important we have that defensive organisation.
“Look at the intensity and how we pressed the game. If they have two defenders there, make sure we get three players around the ball. If they have three, then make sure we have four.
“We blocked the spaces high up the pitch. And when we couldn’t press high, we dropped in and the lines were nice and tight.
“Tactically, we were terrific at Wigan and it doesn’t just happen with a click of the fingers. It’s about hard work on the training ground.”