Only last week Downing had admitted he may leave in the January transfer window after manager Rodgers said he could go.
Rodgers was quick to hail the 28-year-old tonight, however, and insisted he never wanted Downing to leave Anfield.
"Stewart's been brilliant, he's a real good guy. I want him to be a part of the group here but at his age, we talked at him playing regularly and if the opportunity had come for him to go then him and I would look at it," said the Northern Irishman.
"But the reaction from that conversation six or seven weeks ago has been outstanding.
"He's played a lot of games and today I thought he was brilliant.
"If he keeps playing like that then he'll be in the team so there's no need for him to leave to get a game.
"I always have wanted him to stay. it's not about me pushing him out the door, he's a quality player.
"When you arrive in the latter part of your twenties and you want to be playing regular and obviously he wasn't at the time."