Reina finger-pointing not for Liverpool

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When the final whistle blew at Anfield on Sunday, it was fair to say that feelings were mixed over the draw against Arsenal. 

Whereas some fans were happy to have took a point despite being down to ten men for 45 minutes, others left feeling frustrated at what might have been had Pepe Reina not knocked the ball into his own net so late on in the game.

What made Reina’s unfortunate error all the more harder to stomach was the fact that he makes so few mistakes, and the fact that it cost the Reds three points was not lost on the man himself if the look on his face was anything to go by.

Not only is he arguably the best keeper in the Premier League, but he pulled off a string of fine saves throughout Sunday’s clash - most notably a stunning reflex save from Thomas Rosicky - to keep Liverpool in front before the equaliser.

Although the home side struggled to get into any rhythm in the first half, the dismissal of Joe Cole seemed to have a positive effect on the other ten men in the second period. David N’Gog’s well taken shot exposed Manuel Almunia at his near post, and the Reds looked poised for a 'shock' win.

The strike was reminiscent of Fernando Torres’ goal against Manchester United last season, and the young French striker has certainly stated his case to be included in Roy Hodgson’s plans with four goals in three games so far this season.

However, victory wasn’t to be and the side were forced to settle for a draw that the majority of fans would have taken when the fixtures were released back in June.

It is important that supporters see it as a positive point rather than two dropped, as it gives the club something to build on while maintaining optimism to a more modest level, rather than getting carried away after just one game.

Looking ahead, Liverpool face Trabzonspor in the Europa League tonight. Ideally, Hodgson would start Torres and give the striker a decent run out in order to build up match fitness before Monday’s tussle with Manchester City.

Trabzonspor, it should be stressed, are an unknown quantity and will therefore be no easy pushovers. However, a win and a clean sheet will be the minimum of requirements from everyone inside Anfield.

Now while some fans will be wondering who the Turkish outfit are, the older generation of reds will remember them fondly from the maiden European Cup winning campaign of 1976/77 when Bob Paisley’s side progressed 3-1 on aggregate despite a first leg defeat. 

What makes that particular meeting all the more interesting was the fact that just one Liverpool fan made the journey to Turkey, and legend has it that he even sat on the bench for the game! How times have changed.

*Disclaimer: The views in this article are that of the writer and may not replicate those of the Professional Footballers' Association.

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Jose Reina
Premier League

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