Wenger impressed by rookie keeper

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Arsene Wenger gave rookie goalkeeper Vito Mannone "10 out of 10" for an inspired display which helped Arsenal record a hard-fought 1-0 win at Fulham.

The 21-year-old Italian has been standing in for regular stopper Manuel Almunia, currently laid low by a virus and produced a string of superb displays in Saturday's clash at Craven Cottage, which was settled by a well-taken strike from Robin van Persie after 52 minutes.

Wenger said: "I believe you would give him 10 out of 10 because everything he did was right, and for a goalkeeper, that is the most important. He stopped everything he had to stop and did not make any wrong decision. Overall he has shown he has the potential to be a very good goalkeeper."

Mannone may be the Gunners' third-choice keeper, behind Pole Lukasz Fabianski, sidelined following knee surgery, but Wenger has been impressed by the way the Italian has adapted to the number one slot.

"In this job you have to go from game to game," he said. "Consistency is the first sign of quality.

"Sometimes keepers look unbeatable, and he looked (on Saturday) that he could make every save. He has played a fantastic game and until the next game, he is the number one."

Mannone denied Andrew Johnson, Clint Dempsey and substitute Zoltan Gera with a number of impressive stops.

Asked if it was the best performance of his career, Mannone told ESPN: "I would say yes, when you play like that in the first team.

"You have to take your opportunity. I think I did it tonight 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."

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Robin Van Persie
Lukasz Fabianski
Premier League
Manuel Almunia
Andrew Johnson
Zoltan Gera
Clint Dempsey
Vito Mannone

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