Pepe Reina revealed how proud he was of Liverpool's performance as they narrowly missed out on a place in the last-16 despite a superb display against Zenit St. Pettersburg at Anfield.

Liverpool conceded a sloppy early goal thanks to an error from Jamie Carragher but were able to respond in superb fashion as they took a 3-1 lead that ultimately led to them exiting on away goals with the tie finishing 3-3 on aggregate.

Pepe Reina
Pepe Reina is unable to prevent Hulk from scoring at Anfield. [Reuters]

Two superb free-kicks from Luis Suarez and a scrappy goal from Joe Allen gave Liverpool a chance but they ultimately paid the price for their poor performance in Russia.

Despite the Europa League being Liverpool's last chance of silverware this season, Reina believes that the players can be proud of their display.

"There's disappointment because we didn't get through but we have to be proud of how we played," Reina told the Liverpool Echo. "We went out of the Europa League with our heads held high.

"We tried our best and we showed great character, especially after conceding the goal. We fought for our lives throughout the 90 minutes and we showed a lot of passion. We are not happy but that's football."

The effort of the Liverpool players was clearly appreciated by the home fans who provided a scintillating atmosphere that brought back memories of some of the big European nights at Anfield.

"We need to thank the fans, they were brilliant," Reina said. "They were with us even more when we conceded the goal. That's something to be very happy about. I feel very proud."

Liverpool must now turn their attention towards climbing the league table and Reina believes that there are positives that can be taken from their elimination.

"We need to go step by step, make sure we win as many of our remaining games as possible and try to climb the table," Reina added. "We just have to win at Wigan - that's the next target. At least we will be fresher for the league games now."