Stewart Downing has praised the performance of Pepe Reina in Liverpool's thumping 4-0 win over Wigan on Saturday by declaring that the Spaniard is now back to his very best.

Reina had come in for some criticism this season after a number of high profile errors but he excelled against Wigan as he made two superb saves from Emmerson Boyce and France Di Santo in the first half to help Liverpool complete an emphatic win.

Pepe Reina
Pepe Reina appears to being coming back into form after two fantastic saves against Wigan. [Reuters]

The Spanish keeper had been linked with a possible move away from Liverpool but recently stated that he had no intention of leaving as he was enjoying working under Brendan Rodgers.

Downing has managed to turn around his form this season and he believes that Reina proved at the weekend that he is still a top-class goalkeeper.

"It's hard for keepers. As players, we make many mistakes in games, but they get overshadowed by other things," Downing told The Sun. "A keeper makes a mistake and it's in the back of the net. It is a tough position to play.

"But you see his save at 2-0 and if we had gone in 2-1 at half-time that would have made it more difficult. People don't tend to see that, but we as players could see it was an important save.

"It gave us the platform to go on and get the third goal and it was easy from then on. He's a top-class goalkeeper. Everyone has dips in form and things like that. It's about the way you bounce back and he certainly has."

Reina had been linked with a possible return to Barcelona after Victor Valdes announced he would not renew his contract, but the 30-year-old appears settled on Merseyside and dismissed talk of him of leaving.

Speaking last month to the Mail, Reina said: "Any talk of me joining Barca is just speculation. I've got a contract at Liverpool and I'm very happy here.

"I am sure Victor Valdes with have his reasons for deciding to leave Barcelona. I respect him. He's my teammate and friend. He'll be leaving with his head held high, as he's given his all to Barcelona."