Brendan Rodgers described the performance of Reading keeper Alex McCarthy as 'absolutely staggering' after Liverpool were held to a goalless draw in Saturday's Barclays Premier League clash at the Madejski Stadium.
The Reds manager watched in awe as McCarthy made a succession of world-class saves to deny Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge. Reading's goal came under continuous pressure in the final 10 minutes and Suarez was stunned to see two great attempts foiled by the brilliance of McCarthy.
"I know Alex well. He's genuinely going to be a top, top keeper and to perform like that having been out for so long was absolutely staggering," Rodgers said.
Rodgers worked with McCarthy during his six-month spell as Reading manager in 2009 and tipped the academy product for England honours.
"Reading has always produced very good goalkeepers so he was down the pecking order at the time," he said. "He has all the qualities to be a top, top keeper - he's 6'5", makes good saves, is good on his feet and is very calm and assured despite being very young. Absolutely I can see him playing for England, there's no question about that."
Liverpool keeper Pepe Reina made fine saves when Noel Hunt and Jobi McAnuff threatened to score, but Reading manager Nigel Adkins insisted the afternoon belonged to McCarthy.
"All the headlines tomorrow will be about Alex McCarthy. He's put in a fantastic display even though he's been out for a while," Adkins said.
"We have some exceptional keepers here at Reading and a really good goalkeeping coach.
"I'm really pleased with the players, their attitude and application. We've kept a clean sheet and it's fair to say Alex has pulled off some world-class saves.
"Alex will receive the headlines but I'm pleased with all the players today."