The match started off brightly for Aston Villa at Carrow Road. Paul Lambert elected to rely heavily on his attackers once again, and the visitors quickly put the Norwich City defense under pressure. Before a minute had passed, Andreas Weimann had his first chance, but Canaries goalkeeper John Ruddy was able to stop the striker’s sharp shot. Within minutes, Weimann was troubling Norwich again, but this time, his shot hit the post. Christian Benteke was prepared with a followup, but the Belgian was flagged offside.
The tables turned quickly, however, when Norwich were handed a penalty in the sixth minute — literally handed, as Ciaran Clark put out his arm to stop the ball. The Villa defender was probably wishing he’d never returned from injury as Robert Snodgrass stepped up to the spot. Snodgrass sent his shot low and to the right, but a diving Brad Guzan managed to shove the ball out of danger, as the rest of the Villa defense stepped up to contain the damage.
With Guzan regularly bailing his side out time and again, and proving himself adept at saving penalties, it’s hard to believe he won’t be in the running to start between the sticks for the USMNT at the World Cup. Tim Howard is likely looking over his shoulder — will he provide similar heroics against West Ham later on Saturday?