By Nick Teale

Arsène Wenger accepts Vito Mannone could have done more to prevent Birmingham City's goal on Saturday but was impressed with how the Italian was able to overcome the mistake mentally.

With Arsenal 2-0 up in the game, Mannone attempted to catch a Barry Ferguson cross that had looped up off Abou Diaby's head.

The keeper spilt the ball under pressure from Sebastian Larsson and Lee Bowyer pounced to give Alex McLeish's side a lifeline seven minutes before half time.

Speaking after the 3-1 victory, Wenger acknowledged there was no foul in the build-up to the goal but refused to put the error down to Mannone's inexperience. 

"He's a young goalkeeper," said the Arsenal manager. "You have to accept that no matter the age of a goalkeeper that can happen.

"In the Premier League you are always challenged and he should have certainly fisted the ball out."

However, Wenger was pleased with how the 21-year-old reacted after conceding the goal.

"The good sign was in the second half it didn't affect him. He came out for crosses, he saved a good cross and that could have been an equaliser, so it didn't affect him mentally. That's very good."

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19 Oct 2009