Brendan Rodgers praises Simon Mignolet after criticism

Mignolet pulled off both a crucial and eye-catching save in the win against Southampton.

Brendan Rodgers had licence to call his goalkeeper Simon Mignolet a brilliant shot stopper after Liverpool’s 3-0 win over Southampton at the weekend.

After a lot of criticism for the Liverpool goalkeeper in recent weeks for not coming for crosses, not being commanding enough and being uncertain on the ball amidst the criticism levelled at him, his performance against Southampton left those critics silent for the time being.

A save midway through the first half from Jay Rodriguez of the highest class managed to keep Liverpool in front in the game, allowing him in to put in one of his most solid performances this season.

Rodgers is quoted in the Liverpool Echo, saying: “Away from home there are critical moments in games and he had made that save going the wrong way.

“And that’s what he is, a brilliant shot stopper and I thought the back four, goalkeeper and collectively in front of that, we were excellent defensively.”

There have been other instances this season, Mignolet pulled off a terrific save at The Hawthorns in the 1-1 draw against West Bromwich Albion when they were ahead but unfortunately Kolo Toure's error meant he was picking the ball out of the net later on in the game. There have been other instances, a big save when his side was 2-1 ahead and under pressure against Sunderland earlier on in the season, a game which Liverpool went on to win 3-1 - as well as his opening day double stop against Stoke City.

Mignolet has been compared a lot to Pepe Reina this season but they are two different style of keepers – Reina likes to command the area whilst Mignolet has looked more at home closer to his line – and was literally the last line of defence.

The way that Liverpool play means that sides are going to have chances and that prolific shot stopper in goal is going to be necessary if Liverpool are to plug the leak at the back – this is not to say Reina wasn’t a good shot stopper as there is an entire collection of top class saves the Spaniard has made.

But more performances like at the weekend, and more plaudits from the manager would appear to make Mignolet's position as the club's number one goalkeeper more secure.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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