Outstanding Vito keeps Fulham at bay after Van Persie strike
PUBLISHED: 11:35 28 September 2009 | UPDATED: 16:27 07 September 2010
Third choice goalkeeper Vito Mannone produced an outstanding display to preserve his clean sheet - and give Arsenal their first win on the road since the opening day of the season. The young Italian made a string of saves as the Gunners took the points fr
Third choice goalkeeper Vito Mannone produced an outstanding display to preserve his clean sheet - and give Arsenal their first win on the road since the opening day of the season.
The young Italian made a string of saves as the Gunners took the points from Craven Cottage courtesy of Robin van Persie's neat control and finish seven minutes after the restart.
Mannone - in the side because Manuel Almunia is still recovering from a virus and second choice Lukasz Fabianski is out with a knee injury - said it was the best performance of his career to date: "You have to take your opportunity. I think I did and I'm happy with the three points, it was a great win.
"We all enjoyed it. It was a great performance by the team and the group showed a lot of solidarity."
He brilliantly kept out Andrew Johnson's bullet header and then denied Clint Dempsey with the rebound before denying further efforts from Johnson and Zoltan Gera. The coup de grace was an outstanding stop from Bobby Zamora's late header to save a below-par Gunners.
His manager, Arsene Wenger, gave him ten out of ten: "Consistency is the first sign of quality. Sometimes keepers look unbeatable, and he looked that he could make every save."
But Wenger admitted Fulham could have snatched a point after a spirited display.
"Fulham played very well, they were committed and organised. We needed to be special to come out with three points.
"We took one of our opportunities very well, but after that Fulham remained always dangerous.
"They fought until the last second.