Arsenal 1 Birmingham City 0
London's Olympic bid has led to the possibility of a combined Great Britain football team and the in-joke travelling the circuit is that it will contain 11 Englishmen.
Ryan Giggs has had a cursory mention as a possible substitute, but Northern Ireland and Scotland - forget it.
But after Maik Taylor's performance against Arsenal can anyone honestly say there is a better British goalkeeper in the Premiership?
Paul Robinson is very competent for England and Taylor does drop the occasional clanger but for game-changing saves, Taylor has no peers.
He is his own biggest critic and he scolded himself after the game, as he believes he should have done better in preventing Robin van Persie's deflected winner.
He is right, but he is also missing the point as van Persie's goal would have been rendered irrelevant if Taylor hadn't produce some truly world class saves.
He broke Jose Antonio Reyes' heart with a nap hand of breathtaking blocks and also found time to parry away a Robert Pires penalty, as well as diverting a fierce drive of his on to the post. But he saved his best for Freddie Ljungberg as his block from point blank range drew a collective groan from Highbury, as they sensed it was going to be one of those days.
It certainly could have been far worse than one of those days for Arsenal, as Birmingham started in confident mood and showed it when a sublime pass from Walter Pandiani freed Emile Heskey inside three minutes.
His shot was partially blocked by Jens Lehman but the ball was spinning towards an empty net until Ashley Cole intervened and hacked the ball to safety.
Jermaine Pennant and Heskey both looked like they had a point to prove with Sven-G^ran Eriksson about to name his England squad and this game was no foregone conclusion until Kenny Cunningham's dismissal.
He lunged at Ljungberg after a perfectly weighted Gilberto pass and the Swede, who needs no second invitation to fall theatrically to the ground, was soon writhing in agony.
However, it was a nailed-on foul and a nailed on red-card that ensured Cunningham achieved an unwanted hattrick for Steve Bruce's men. For the third Premiership game in succession - and twice in the first half - they were reduced to ten men and staring down the barrel.
Bruce turned into the tinkerman as he adjusted his formation and personnel on at least five occasions and every option turned out to be a winner.
And Heskey, who had given Sol Campbell a torrid time in the opening 20 minutes, switched form the left flank to the role of lone striker with ease and had possibly Birmingham's best chance after the interval.
Pennant's delicious pass freed him but his left foot shot couldn't find a way past Lehman before Matthew Upson headed over from six yards out after a wicked Pennant free-kick.
It looked as though Birmingham might even pinch an unlikely victory as Taylor had adopted an admirable 'thou shalt not pass' stance.
It needed something out of the ordinary to beat Taylor but all it took was a wicked deflection of Stephen Clemence's right boot.
The midfielder - who had only trained for four days prior to this game, was arguably Birmingham's best outfield player as he held his own in an undermanned engine room. But as Arsenal ran out of steam van Persie unleashed a hopeful drive from 25yards that Taylor could probably have caught smoking his pipe and wearing hsi slippers, such was his form.
However, as it struck Clemence's boot it turned into a whirling dervish and reared up off the turf and in past a the bewildered keeper.
Arsenal celebrated as though they had got out of jail, as they had almost given up the ghost of ever penetrating Birmingham.
There was still time for an Olivier Tebily header to be ruled out as the linesman claimed Pennant's corner had swung out of play , to sum up Birmingham's day, and season so far.
They are slowly starting to look like the mean machine of old but are firmly entrenched in the bottom five with Villa.
The derby at St Andrew's in two weeks' time has taken on an importance like never before as it is conceivable that both teams could kick off in the relegation zone.
If Birmingham can transport some of their form on the road back to Small Heath then they should be more than capable of breaking their home hoodoo. But with a fortnight until this clash then anything can happen as Bruce well knows.
A chunk of his squad are on international duty and Bruce will be crossing every available limb hoping that his troops report back injury- free. Because, despite this performance they have still only garnered one victory all season - and that has to change.