Roy Hodgson hails Jose Reina milestone

Manager Roy Hodgson paid tribute to the work of Jose Reina after he became the quickest Liverpool goalkeeper to reach 100 clean sheets in the league.

The Spain international was rarely troubled in last night's 3-0 victory at home to Aston Villa as he notched up the landmark in 198 games - breaking by some considerable distance the previous record held by Reds great Ray Clemence, who took 217 games.

Reina had only one save to make, denying Gabriel Agbonlahor from close range with the score at 2-0 early in the second half.

"He salvaged the situation for us as good goalkeepers do and I can only congratulate him on being the fastest goalkeeper to 100 league clean sheets for Liverpool," said Hodgson.

"If it had gone to 2-1 that could have lifted them and put us on the back foot.

"He has done it in the face of some very stiff competition, in particular Ray Clemence and Bruce Grobbelaar who were two legendary goalkeepers for this club.

"It if fantastic he has outdone them by reaching the landmark fastest and it was also nice to hear him pay tribute to the people in front of him.

"I think all goalkeepers who are going to break all records need good defences in front of them.

"But I think he may be the best in the league at setting up attacks and distributing the ball.

"He got his clean sheet tonight without being able to get the cigar on in the six-yard box but it is very nice he has done that.

"It is a record he can justifiably proud of."

Liverpool coasted to victory thanks to goals from David Ngog and Ryan Babel in the 14th and 16th minutes.

Maxi Rodriguez added a third 10 minutes after the interval to dispel any fears about the absence of Fernando Torres, who missed the match to be at the birth of his second child, a son, last night.

"I certainly wasn't planning for it. I knew Fernando's wife was very close to giving birth," added Hodgson.

"I was hoping it wouldn't be yesterday, I was hoping it would be Sunday or the day before or a couple of days after but this is what happens.

"It's called Sod's Law that is happens on the very day you need him but luckily we've survived comfortably without him."

Villa boss Gerard Houllier - the former Reds manager returning to Anfield for the first time - admitted his side had a problem as soon as they went behind.

"The first goal affected our morale. We are not the most confident team at the moment and we are aware of that," said the Frenchman.

"We are on the back of three defeats and so obviously the first goal looked as if it has done us.

"The second goal looked as if it was offside but it was a vital goal because it probably means the game is over.

"We need to address a few problems in the team at the moment and one of those is the need to defend better."

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