Curtis Davies confessed that Tomasz Kuszczak's outstanding save was the best he had witnessed during his fledgling career.
Davies was again imperious at the heart of West Bromwich Albion's defence and clutched a magnum of the sponsor's man-of-the-match Champagne after bottling up Wigan Athletic's Jason Roberts at the JJB Stadium yesterday.
However, Davies was already intoxicated with the joys of Albion's first Premiership victory on away soil this season, made possible by Kuszczak's stunning save when Roberts finally escaped the defender's Davies three yards from goal.
An awestruck Davies said after the 1-0 win: "It was unbelievable. I don't think I have ever seen a better save. He had no right getting to it and that is how good a save it was.
"Not only did he stop a cer- tain goal but he got two clean palms to it and managed to beat it out.
"That helped us get our first away win, which is the most important thing as it gets that record out of our heads. To win with ten men will make us even stronger. It was hard enough coming to a team that was sixth in the Premiership anyway."
Bryan Robson, the Albion manager, congratulated his team before beating a hasty retreat down the M6 to London to receive a prestigious award from the Football Writers' Association.
He was honoured for his services to football and his celebratory drink will have tasted that much sweeter after Martin Albrechtsen's winner.
Chants of "Earnie", relating to transfer-listed Rob Earnshaw, emanated from a section of away fans amid a chorus of ill-advised boos following Robson's decision to replace Nathan Ellington with Albrechtsen before half time.
However, Albrechtsen defended stoically after Darren Moore's dismissal and delivered his piece de resistance with a composed finish ten minutes into the second half.
His first goal in an Albion shirt lifted his team above Middlesbrough and he could have doubled his tally inside the final ten minutes but was denied by Mike Pollitt's legs.
Nevertheless, he said he had not applied exact science for his goal and that there was no guarantees he would score again when faced with the same situation.
Albrechtsen said: "I got a chance to get forward and it was a perfect pass from Ronnie (Wallwork). I took one touch, closed my eyes and hit it! Thankfully it went in. It doesn't happen very often and was undoubtedly the high point of my Albion career."
Yet Albrechsten was keen to deflect any praise on to the man he regarded as the hero of the hour, saying: "I thought Roberts's effort was a sure goal but Tomasz came from nowhere and made one of the best saves I have ever seen.
"It was always going to be a scrappy game when we went down to ten men but the most important thing is that we have put some daylight between ourselves and the bottom three.
"We have a really good chance to build on this great win next week against Sunderland. We still need to win more away games so I hope this is one of many."