Time and again Luis Suarez, Steven Gerrard, Philippe Coutinho and Daniel Sturridge were foiled as the Reds were held to a goalless Barclays Premier League draw at Madejski Stadium.
Remarkably, McCarthy was playing his first match since November 4 having recovered from a shoulder reconstruction.
The former England Under-21 international was outstanding during the final 10 minutes when he produced breathtaking saves against Suarez and Gerrard, leaving Rodgers highly impressed.
"I was sat in the changing room with the staff afterwards and said I couldn't remember being at a game where a goalkeeper has had a performance like that, either as a manager, coach or spectator," Rodgers said.
"Normally goalkeepers make one or two saves that make a difference, but he made an incredible number of saves. It was a brilliant goalkeeping performance."
The 6ft 4in McCarthy, who was only playing after Adam Federici was ruled out with an ankle problem, identifies Chelsea's Petr Cech as the keeper he admires most.
"I've sort of modelled my game on Petr Cech - we're the same sort of stature," McCarthy said.
"I take a lot out of his game. I look at a lot of other goalkeepers, but I think he's up there with the best.
"Mentally he's a character, he's very strong and doesn't let anything affect him. You can see that by his week in, week out performances."
- Sports & Recreation
- Steven Gerrard
- Philippe Coutinho