Brad Guzan Won't Sustain Elite Level of Play Showcased in Win over Norwich City
Aston Villa goalkeeper Brad Guzan couldn't have picked a better time to play his best overall match of the season for the Lions on Saturday.
The veteran stopper only recorded two saves in Villa's 1-0 victory over Norwich City, but it was his diving penalty stop in the sixth minute that stole the show and ultimately powered Villa to their first Premier League win since Aug. 17.
Unfortunately, Guzan's remarkable effort doesn't appear to be a sign of things to come at Villa Park, but rather an unsustainable fluke.
Sure, Guzan's two-save shutout performance was impressive enough to earn him Man of the Match honors. But had he guessed wrong on Robert Snodgrass' sixth-minute penalty, Villa would likely have been trailing for the fourth straight league match and the complexion of the game would have changed completely.
Had the 29-year-old American made half a dozen spectacular saves, there would be reason to believe he's on to something. But there isn't as much skill as luck that goes into saving a penalty.
On top of that, the level of competition must also be considered. Guzan's memorable outing came against one of the Premier League bottom-feeders in Norwich.
So while his electrifying moment turned the tide in Saturday's win at Carrow Road, it would be foolish to put any serious stock into it.
Plus, prior to Saturday, Villa had lost three consecutive Premier League matches, with Guzan recording eight saves and conceding five goals over that time. According to WhoScored.com, Guzan averaged a match rating of 6.5 over those three matches.
What do you make of Brad Guzan's stellar outing vs. Norwich?
In the two victories, Guzan's average match rating is 8.3, according to WhoScored.com. But positive results have been scarce for Villa in 2013-14. Guzan and the Lions have yet to even pick up a single point at home this season, losing to Liverpool and Newcastle at Villa Park.
He let in three goals total in those two home losses.
Guzan's individual performance vs. Norwich is certainly deserving of praise. But considering only Kieren Westwood (Sunderland) and Michel Vorm (Swansea City) have conceded more goals than the Villa goalkeeper, it's safe to say that Saturday's elite level of play will prove to be unsustainable the rest of the way.
Follow Bleacher Report Featured Columnist Patrick Clarke on Twitter.
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