Writer: Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Wednesday April 30 2014
With his debut season at Anfield coming to a close, Reds keeper Simon Mignolet has received praise from Kop boss Brendan Rodgers...
If Liverpool do miss out on a first ever Premier League crown this season most observers will portion a large amount of the blame on the club's rearguard.
Brendan Rodgers' side lead the way as an attacking entity this campaign but the defence has struggled on occasion, although partially as a consequence of the positive tactics deployed.
The Reds have conceded 46 goals in their 36 league fixtures played so far; only Tottenham Hotspur have conceded more amongst the top eight.
By comparison, second-placed Chelsea, who currently hold the best defensive record in the league, have conceded 20 goals fewer (26).
Their 2-0 victory at Anfield on Sunday now means that if Liverpool and title favourites Manchester City both win their remaining games, the outcome of the championship will be decided on goal difference.
Sadly for the Merseysiders they trail City by eight in this regard and with just two games remaining are likely to need their opponents to drop points.
Regardless of a couple of notable individual errors and concerns from fans over his ability to deal with crosses, one man who is not seen in any way culpable by Rodgers is Belgium international Simon Mignolet.
The goalkeeper, who has registered 10 clean sheets, joined Liverpool from Sunderland for £9million in the summer and has been an ever present during the league campaign.
"I've been delighted with Simon since he has come in," commented the Northern Irishman to the Liverpool ECHO.
"I think he's an outstanding goalkeeper who is only going to get better and better.
"He has come into a huge club and replaced a legendary figure at the club in Pepe Reina.
"That was always going to take a bit of time.
"But over the course of the season he has made a big contribution. I don't forget the significance of some of the saves he has made.
"Simon hasn't ever cost us a game but he has certainly gained us points. He's an excellent goalkeeper."
"His form has been very good and he has consistently made really crucial saves for us."
Mignolet and Liverpool are next in action on Monday night when they travel to Selhurst Park to face Crystal Palace.
By the time they kick-off the league leaders could find themselves relegated to third in the standings.
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Date:Wednesday April 30 2014
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