By Richard Clarke

Arsène Wenger believes that Lukasz Fabianski will be “one of the best goalkeepers in the world” despite the criticism surrounding his performance in Saturday’s FA Cup Semi-Final.

The manager conceded that the Polish international was “not at his best” as Chelsea came from behind to register a 2-1 win at Wembley.

However, Wenger argues that even Petr Cech, considered among Europe’s elite keepers, was on the end of some flak for his display against Liverpool just a few days earlier. Therefore Fabianski, 24 on Saturday, should not be judged too harshly.

“I wouldn't like to put too much responsibility for this defeat on Fabianski,” he said. “It would be unfair.

“Let’s see him recover and not speak too much about what he has done on Saturday.

“I think he will be one of the best goalkeepers in the world. I firmly believe that.

“He has the talent, he is brave, he is intelligent. Technically he is very good too. He was not at his best against Chelsea but we have to accept that. It can happen to anyone. It happened to Cech on Tuesday. So it can happen.”

And it seems that Fabianski’s run in the side is likely to be extended for the next few games at least. On Saturday Wenger said: “We don't know when Manuel Almunia will be back.

“And we don't know if he will be fit for the Champions League Semi-Final with Manchester United.”

The Spaniard has been out with an ankle injury since the 1-1 draw at Villarreal on April 7.

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20 Apr 2009