Brad Guzan saves PK, is generally awesome in Aston Villa shutout win

Saturday September 21st, 2013

Brad Guzan saved an early penalty kick from Robert Snodgrass in a 1-0 Aston Villa win. Brad Guzan saved an early penalty kick from Robert Snodgrass in a 1-0 Aston Villa win. (Neville Williams/Getty Images)

Brad Guzan may not be the starter with the U.S. national team (though some believe he should be), but the Chicago native has been lights-out for Aston Villa this season. Take today, for example. Six minutes into Villa's match at Norwich City, defender Ciaran Clark was called for a fairly obvious handball in the 18-yard box. Penalty to Norwich -- a welcome change in luck for them, as the Canaries had won just once in their opening four games.

Except then Guzan did this:

(GIF via SB Nation) (GIF via SB Nation)

A fine save to be sure, but Guzan didn't stop there. The American was outstanding through the rest of the match, controlling the air in his 18-yard box in the face of pressure from the home side -- pressure that only became more intense after substitute Libor Kozák put Villa up 1-0 in the 30th minute.

And though Norwich struggled to create clear chances, when they did generate something dangerous Guzan was there to save the day. Another great Guzan moment (arguably better than the penalty save) was this acrobatic, 90th-minute denial of Gary Hooper.

(GIF via SB Nation) (GIF via SB Nation)

With the win, Aston Villa moved to 10th in the EPL table, though that could change depending on the rest of this weekend's results. Just as important: the shutout is their first of the young season, and should give them some confidence before Manchester City pays a visit to Villa Park next week.

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