Maik Taylor was inconsolable after conceding a late goal that handed Arsenal a 1-0 victory and saw Birmingham drop into the bottom five of the Premiership.
No matter that Taylor had produced one of his best performances in a Birmingham City shirt and almost singlehandedly kept the FA Cup holders at bay with a string of outstanding saves.
He was distraught and highly critical of himself after allowing Robin van Persie's deflected effort to somehow squirm past him and into the corner of his net.
A lot of players would have basked in the glory of such a performance and accepted a gallant loss but the 34-yearold Northern Ireland international was adamant that his performance counted for nothing in light of the final result. "That would have been one of my best-ever performances but it is no consolation at all as we lost the game," Taylor said. "It doesn't matter what went before, I believe I should have saved van Persie's shot.
"If I had let four or five of the earlier chances in, but stopped van Persie's shot it would have been irrelevant.
"So the fact that I made some good saves but let that one beat me is of scant consolation."
However, Taylor's critical self-analysis should not mask the fact that van Persie's winner took a huge deflection off the luckless Stephen Clemence. The ball spun from Clemence's boot like a vicious Shane Warne delivery before dipping in front of a wrongfooted Taylor and bouncing over the helpless goalkeeper.
Kenny Cunningham's 24th-minute dismissal had forced Blues into a stout defensive performance.
Taylor said: "The sendingoff changed the game, as I thought we were well in control when we had 11 men on the pitch.
"You expect to be busy at Arsenal so I thought I would have to make some saves but, even though van Persie's shot was a decent strike, I had it covered.
"However, when it spun off Clem's (Clemence) boot it changed direction slightly and bounced in the six-yard box.
"I don't want this to sound like I am making excuses but the grass was actually quite long in the six-yard area and it kicked up and moved back into my body. I tried to get back up to stop it but I couldn't quite get there."
Taylor's dominating performance started when Arsenal were awarded a penalty only three minutes after Cunningham's dismissal.
Freddie Ljungberg was adjudged to have been brought down by a horizontal Damien Johnson, who was lying on the ground, and Robert Pires stepped up to take the spot kick.
Taylor said a chance conversation with Eric Black and Nigel Spink (goalkeeping coach) paid rich dividends. He said: "We never normally talk about penalty-takers but Eric and Nigel told me that they saw Pires take one in the Champions' League in midweek and he put it to the goalkeeper's right
"I decided to double-bluff him as he probably thought I would dive to the left, as he would change his side. So I left him a bit of space that side but he shaped to take it to my right again so I took my chances. But, like I said previously, it is of no consolation when we come away empty-handed.
"That is three games in a row where we have had a man sent off and given ourselves a lot to do. Yet we showed a lot of character and we will take a lot of positives out of the game."