Brendan Rodgers leaps to Pepe Reina's defence

Pepe Reina
© PA Photos
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers leaps to the defence of goalkeeper Pepe Reina following his blunder against Hearts in the Europa League.

Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has leaped to the defence of goalkeeper Pepe Reina following his blunder against Hearts in the Europa League.

The Spanish shotstopper misjudged David Templeton's strike, allowing Hearts to level the tie on aggregate, before Luis Suarez spared his blushes with a late winner.

However, Rodgers refused to blame Reina for the error, describing the player as a "pivotal part" of the team.

He said: "Pepe has been brilliant since I've been here. He's been a pivotal part of how we work. He's been excellent off the field, a real good guy who understands the ideology of what we're trying to do.

"Unfortunately for goalkeepers it's part and parcel of the game. There's no blame attached - unfortunately for goalkeepers they make a mistake and sometimes it leads to a goal.

"An outfield player makes a mistake and they've got their mates to recover. It will happen sometimes but we move on."

The game finished 1-1 with Liverpool progressing 2-1 on aggregate after recording a 1-0 victory in the first leg at Tynecastle.

Luis Suarez
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