The Aston Villa goalkeeper didn’t cover himself in glory for the first goal.

Dean Smith has singled out Aston Villa goalkeeper Pepe Reina for criticism following Monday night’s thrashing by Leicester City.

The Villans were thumped 4-0 by third-placed City at The King Power Stadium last night.

Smith’s side are 19th in the Premier League table and three points adrift of safety, though Aston Villa do have a game in hand.

Harvey Barnes broke the deadlock for the hosts on 40 minutes and Reina was somewhat questionable in his attempts to deny the young attacker.

And the Villa boss has admitted that his Spanish goalkeeper made Barnes’s job of scoring ‘a lot easier’ by coming off his line.

He told Aston Villa’s official website: “You want to get into half-time at 0-0, but we make a big error. It’s a ball over the top, Pepe comes out and makes Barnes’ job a lot easier.”

It does make you wonder how the result would’ve panned out had Aston Villa made it to the break with a 0-0.

Of course, Brendan Rodgers’s side might have had the rip-roaring second half that they did anyway but conceding late in the first half would’ve taken the wind out of Villa’s sails and boosted the hosts.

The terrible news from a Villa perspective is that three of their next four Premier League games are against Chelsea, Manchester United and Reina’s former club Liverpool.

In other news, Wijnaldum hopes to emulate Liverpool teammate James Milner with ‘unbelievable’ fitness levels