Aston Villa boss Tim Sherwood reacts to Brad Guzan's performance against Bournemouth

Benteke Scores Past Brad Guzan

The American goalkeeper made a couple of crucial first-half saves to help Sherwood's men get their Premier League campaign off to a winning start at Dean Court.

Aston Villa manager Tim Sherwood has lavished praise on Brad Guzan for his shot-stopping heroics in Saturday’s 1-0 opening day victory at Premier League new boys Bournemouth.

Sherwood was speaking to AVTV after seeing substitute Rudy Gestede power in a header from Ashley Westwood's corner 18 minutes before the end to ensure his side made a winning start to their campaign.

However, the result could have been much different were it not for goalkeeper Guzan, who produced a couple of outstanding saves to keep out both Callum Wilson and Marc Pugh towards the end of the first-half.

The US international did not get the chance to feature for Villa in pre-season, having been starting for the States at the CONCACAF Gold Cup, but his seamless transition back into the line-up left his boss more than impressed.

“Really, really crucial,” Sherwood said of Guzan’s saves. “He deserved the fact that we kept it quiet in the second period because he really did do well in the first period.

“The two centre-halves [Micah Richards and Ciaran Clark] were also magnificent all game and the positive is that it’s a clean sheet – and we didn’t have too many of them last season.”

 Vs Bournemouth Errors Lead To ShotSavesPunchesTotal Crosses ClaimedGood Cross ClaimsGoal Kick AccuracyMins Played
Brad Guzan 0 2 1 3 3 38% 90

Guzan, 30, endured a disappointing end to last season, having lost his place in the starting line-up to Shay Given after a horrific gaffe in April’s 3-2 defeat at Manchester City, before rumours began to swirl that he was heading for the exit door.

Following Given’s move to Stoke, the likes of the Daily Mail claimed that Sherwood had made the American keeper available for just £3 million ahead of bringing in a new No. 1, but the Villa boss later went on to rubbish those suggestions.

“Brad was always going to be the No.1,” Sherwood told the Birmingham Mail last month. “It’s a long season.”

Having gone on to win the Gold Cup’s Golden Glove award for the tournament’s best goalkeeper, despite Jurgen Klinsmann’s side finishing outside the top three for the first time since 2000, Guzan now looks to have returned to England with renewed confidence for the new season.

While his 2014-15 campaign was subpar, the former MLS star’s performances during his first two terms between the posts were crucial to saving the club from the drop and, if he can reproduce that form, then there will be few fans questioning his starting credentials.

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