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Aston Villa v Norwich City Live Commentary, 4/30/22

FT
2 - 0
AVL
NOR
O. Watkins (41)
D. Ings (90+3)
Villa Park

Commentary

Villa can be hopeful of ending their Premier League campaign on a good note, then. Norwich can enjoy a few more weeks at this level before returning once again to the Championship. That's all for now. Goodbye!
Villa will feel much better after this win, even if it was against poor opposition. They rise to 13th, their winless streak suddenly over. They didn't have to work very hard for the victory, racking up 21 shots in total, more than they have in any other game this season. Norwich stay bottom. They've failed to score in 19 of their 34 league games this season, and now have only pride to play for in the four they have left.
Villa have comfortably beaten Norwich to confirm the Canaries' relegation! Gerrard's men never looked like they wouldn't win this game after Watkins handed them the first-half lead. Norwich tried their hardest to grab an equaliser in the second, but never came close to finding it as Villa held firm. Ings wrapped up the win for the hosts at the death.
90' + 5' FULL-TIME: ASTON VILLA 2-0 NORWICH CITY
E. Buendía
Assist
Aston Villa
90' + 3' How fitting it is for the former Norwich man Buendia to finish off Norwich in the Premier League for another year. They were always going to struggle going forward after selling him at the end of last season.
D. Ings
Goal
Aston Villa
90' + 3' GOAL! ASTON VILLA 2-0 NORWICH CITY! Ings puts toothless Norwich out of their misery! Ramsey's snap shot is saved by Krul. Buendia controls the rebound to find his fellow substitute, who fires home from the centre of the penalty area.
90' + 2' Buendia looks to liven up what has been a quiet second half, rolling the ball wide of the right-hand post from inside the D.
90' + 1' Norwich have five minutes in which to score and prolong their Premier League status. Villa do not seem likely to let them do it.
90' Mings thumps away another hopeful Norwich throughball. The Villa captain has been commanding at the back in this match.
89' The Norwich fans have broken into a defiant chorus of On The Ball, City as Rupp nudges over Cash. They know the jig's up for them in the Premier League once again.
88' Watkins does a decent job of holding Mings' direct pass up for Villa. The hosts have managed Norwich's threat, if you can call it that, in this second half very well.
86' Aarons scampers down the right to no avail. Villa don't seem flustered in the slightest.
84' Burnley have just come from 1-0 down to go 2-1 up away at Watford. If the scores stay like this, Norwich's relegation will be confirmed.
83' Buendia catches Aarons to hand Norwich a free-kick in their own half. The visitors take it quickly before wasting it. Smith yells some words of encouagement to his players.
82' Mings carries the ball towards the touchline and boots it away with his left foot. Pukki catches the Englishman with a high foot to give away a free-kick. It's welcomed by cheers from the home fans.
L. Rupp
J. Sargent
Norwich City
81' Rupp replaces the stricken Sargent, who only enjoyed a few minutes on the pitch. Norwich aren't getting any luck.
80' Mings shows great strength to shield the ball from Pukki and earn Villa a goal-kick. Norwich are preparing another change. Sargent has injured himself somehow.
79' Ings gets loose down the left and squares the ball for Watkins, who scoops well over. Villa still look the more threatening side, despite Norwich's recent positional dominance.
J. Rowe
M. Rashica
Norwich City
77' Norwich substitution. The 19-year-old Rowe replaces Rashica on the Canaries' left wing.
77' Buendia gets involved in the action straight away, slipping in Ings who forces a save from Krul. The offside flag immediately goes up.
E. Buendía
Philippe Coutinho
Aston Villa
76' Villa substitution. Norwich's former talisman Buendia replaces Coutinho.
75' Norwich are continuing to push without really getting anywhere. Villa are holding the visitors at arm's length at the moment. They're still getting the odd chance too, as Watkins has a shot blocked inside the box.
Douglas Luiz
T. Iroegbunam
Aston Villa
73' Villa substitution. Iroegbunam has had a decent game. Luiz replaces him.
72' Normann clips a pass towards the far post where Sargent can't win his header. Aarons' hopeful effort swerves wide of the left-hand post.
71' Sargent scampers after a pass down the right now that Dowell has moved inside. The American's bringing a little more energy to Norwich's front line.
70' Sargent earns Norwich a free-kick down their right. The delivery's retrieved by Dowell, whose deflected shot is saved by Martinez.
69' Norwich have been on top for the last 10 minutes or so but haven't been able to lay a glove on Villa. If they can threaten the hosts more, they could get lucky.
68' Williams skips inside on his right foot and tries to free Rashica. Villa see the move coming.
J. Ramsey
Yellow Card
Aston Villa
67' Villa are starting to rack up yellow cards. Ramsey's the latest player to land his name in the book as he hauls down Gilmour.
J. Sargent
P. Lees Melou
Norwich City
67' Norwich make an attacking substitution. Sargent, who's returning from injury, replaces Lees-Melou.
66' Dowell uses the free-kick to slide in Rashica down the left. The Kosovan's cross is headed out as far as Normann, who skies it.
D. Ings
Yellow Card
Aston Villa
65' Williams races free down the left and is rudely clipped by Ings. That'll be a yellow card for the Villa substitute.
63' Lees-Melou's back up now. Dowell takes the free-kick from a central position. Hanley runs after it but can't get on the end of it.
T. Iroegbunam
Yellow Card
Aston Villa
61' Iroegbunam's challenge on Lees-Melou earns him a yellow card. Lees-Melou is still in some discomfort.
60' Norwich haven't given up hope yet. Iroegbunam slides in late on Lees-Melou to give a foul away.
59' Pukki stays on his feet after getting a push from Mings to keep possession for Norwich. Dowell's soon shrugged off the ball though.
57' Rashica wriggles free down the left and finds Pukki in the centre. The Finn holds the ball up for Lees-Melou, who can't beat Martinez from the edge of the box.
55' Villa are getting closer to a second goal. Coutinho smashes a shot against a defender from outside the box. Ings gets bundled over inside the penalty area and Krul claims Ramsey's loose touch.
54' Watkins fires into the side netting from the left of the box. The Villa striker is hungry for more goals.
53' Norwich give the ball away in midfield. Krul clears with Watkins racing after a throughball. Coutinho fires over from range. A second Villa goal would kill the game off at this point.
51' Ings plays a one-two with Watkins to dart into the box. The substitute takes Watkins' over-the-top pass down, but Byram makes a vital block to hand Villa a corner. From it, Ings thumps a header against the crossbar and Iroegbunam leans back and blazes over!
50' The corner comes out to Gilmour. The Scot tries to put the ball back into the danger area but is unsuccessful in finding Hanley. Villa goal-kick.
49' Norwich go up the other end and win a corner down their left. Rashica will take this one.
48' Ramsey centres the ball from the byline to catch Norwich out. There's no one in claret and blue there to finish the move off though!
47' Coutinho fires in the free-kick from the right. Norwich manage to deal with it. Villa can't keep the ball in play.
46' Coutinho flicks the ball over the head of Williams who takes him out. Williams is lucky not to have been booked yet.
46' Villa get the second half going. It's hard to see them losing this game from here.
Norwich have become the first team to concede 70+ goals in three different Premier League seasons. They're too often porous at this level. Villa should be confident of going on to win this game now. They're unbeaten in their last 10 league games when leading at half-time, and Norwich haven't salvaged a point from this position all season.
Villa lead at the break thanks to Watkins' nicely taken goal. The hosts started the game well and have benefited from Ings' introduction after Bailey's injury. Norwich improved as the half went on but switched off for one moment and were punished. That's the story of their season.
45' + 5' HALF-TIME: ASTON VILLA 1-0 NORWICH CITY
45' + 4' Aarons passes inside to Normann and catches Ings on the follow-through. He apologetically helps the Villa striker up. That'll be all for now.
45' + 2' Ramsey gets a free header in the box as he reaches Digne's cross. It's off-target though.
45' Hanley flicks Dowell's ball in to Williams, who heads over the crossbar and takes a whack in the process. There'll be four minutes of added time at the end of this half.
C. Chambers
Yellow Card
Aston Villa
44' Chambers is booked for hauling down Rashica, who had beaten him down the left. Dowell stands over the free-kick.
43' That's Watkins' ninth Premier League goal of the season. He's ticking over nicely for Villa. It's an important goal for the hosts too. They're unbeaten in their last four league matches in which they've scored the opening goal.
D. Ings
Assist
Aston Villa
41' Ings has only been on the pitch for a few seconds, but he's already made an impact. That pass for Watkins was from his own half. Villa will be glad they had to bring him on.
O. Watkins
Goal
Aston Villa
41' GOAL! ASTON VILLA 1-0 NORWICH CITY! Watkins punishes Norwich's lack of concentration! He latches onto Ings' direct pass, bamboozles Norwich's defenders and lashes the ball past Krul at a tight angle. There's no saving that.
D. Ings
L. Bailey
Aston Villa
40' Villa make that enforced substitution. Bailey walks off, explaining the issue to Gerrard. Ings will join Watkins up front.
38' Bailey goes down off the ball. It looks like he's struggling to shake off Williams' strong tackle from earlier. Villa will have to replace him.
37' The Norwich fans make themselves heard briefly. Their team are growing into this game after a quiet start.
36' McGinn's searching pass is kept alive by Cash. Norwich get to the ball first, though, and go on the attack. Pukki can't find the right shooting opportunity in Villa's box.
35' Mings leaps over the back of Dowell to win a header and clatters to the turf. The Villa man's granted a free-kick.
33' Rashica finds himself with the ball to the left of Villa's box but can't control it. Normann lets fly from range. It's ambitious, to say the least.
31' Normann is in the right place to clear Ramsey's cross from the left. Villa get a throw-in which they squander. Norwich counter, and Williams bobbles a simple shot straight at Martinez.
29' Iroegbunam halts Normann's run down the right. Byram salvages the free-kick at the far post. Martinez claims the resulting cross.
28' Norwich have another corner then. This one turns out to be less eventful. The visitors will be buoyed by that little spell though.
27' Normann's corner is met by Lees-Melou outside the area. It's not a great hit, but Norwich keep the ball and Rashica forces Martinez into a fine save to stop his drive from outside the box!
26' Pukki goes up against Chambers and manages to get a corner out of the Villa centre-back. Let's see what Norwich can do with this.
24' McGinn's left-footed delivery is easily cleared. Villa have had six shots to Norwich's one so far.
M. Aarons
Yellow Card
Norwich City
23' Aarons picks up the game's first yellow card for preventing Coutinho from reaching a loose ball down the left.
21' Bailey races in behind Norwich's back line and slashes the ball towards goal. He's offside though.
20' Digne catches Aarons late inside Norwich's penalty area, handing the visitors a free-kick. Aarons shouts his displeasure to the referee.
18' Coutinho and McGinn both have efforts blocked from near the D. Villa keep pushing and Bailey cracks a left-footed effort against the crossbar via Krul's fingertips! Coutinho follows up but he's offside.
17' Normann gives away possession, but Villa aren't able to capitalise! Cash heads straight into the arms of Krul from Digne's deep cross.
15' Norwich work the ball nicely down their right, and Aarons passes inside to Lees-Melou. The Frenchman scoops the ball well wide from the edge of the box.
14' Bailey is back on his feet, moving gingerly. It looks like he might be able to run off his injury. He's soon waved back on the pitch.
12' Williams scythes down Bailey near the corner flag, leaving the Jamaican in some pain on the turf. It's a fair challenge. The physios come on to check the Villa man out.
11' Pukki gives Mings a hard time in possession, eventually fouling the Villa captain. His form has been one of the few highlights of a poor season for Norwich.
9' Williams gets a free-kick in his own half as his run is impeded by Bailey.
7' Pukki chases after a hopeful pass down the middle. Martinez puts the ball out for a Norwich throw-in.
6' Digne's inswinging corner is diverted over the crossbar by Watkins. Villa are showing their intent.
5' Bailey jinks down the right for Villa. Byram gets across to put the ball out and hand the hosts the first corner of the game.
3' Villa have started positively. Digne's cross from the left is blocked, as is Coutinho's right-footed shot. Cash's cutback from the byline doesn't find a teammate.
2' Coutinho's attempted cross from the left is cut out. It appears that Byram is Hanley's partner at centre-back for Norwich.
1' Norwich get off to a jittery start as Krul punts a clearance into touch under pressure from Watkins.
1' The visitors Norwich get this bottom-half clash underway!
This is the ideal game for Villa at the moment. They've won seven of their last eight Premier League games against Norwich, including their last four in a row. The Canaries are also winless in their last eight top-flight visits to Villa Park. They'll be eager to delay their inevitable relegation for at least another week.
There are three changes to Norwich's team from the one that started their dismal 3-0 home loss to Newcastle United. Williams, Aarons and Gilmour start. Christoph Zimmermann misses out through injury, as does Kenny McLean in the warm-up. Giannoulis drops to the bench.
Villa make three changes from their 0-0 draw with Leicester City last time out. Chambers and Digne come into their back four. The 18-year-old youth product Iroegbunam gets the nod ahead of Luiz in defensive midfield.
SUBS: Jon Rowe, Joshua Sargent, Przemyslaw Placheta, Ben Gibson, Dimitrios Giannoulis, Angus Gunn, Lukas Rupp, Jacob Lungi Sorensen.
NORWICH CITY (4-2-3-1): Tim Krul; Max Aarons, Grant Hanley (c), Brandon Williams, Sam Byram; Mathias Normann, Billy Gilmour; Kieran Dowell, Pierre Lees-Melou, Milot Rashica; Teemu Pukki.
SUBS: Douglas Luiz, Emiliano Buendia, Ezri Konsa, Marvelous Nakamba, Danny Ings, Carney Chukwuemeka, Bertrand Traore, Ashley Young, Robin Olsen.
ASTON VILLA (4-3-2-1): Emiliano Martinez; Matthew Cash, Calum Chambers, Tyrone Mings (c), Lucas Digne; John McGinn, Tim Iroegbunam, Jacob Ramsey; Leon Bailey, Phillipe Coutinho; Ollie Watkins.
Handily for Villa, their latest visitors are sorry Norwich City, who could be relegated this weekend if results go against them. Dean Smith could become the first manager to win against Villa in the Premier League after previously having managed them. It'd surely be too late to affect the Canaries' survival chances, but it would be ironic given the nature of Smith's departure.
After showing initial promise under Steven Gerrard, Villa are slumping to a disappointing end to the season. The Villans are winless in their last five league games, their worst run since their first season after promotion. They're finding that changing boss mid-season doesn't always make the grass greener.
Hello! Welcome to our live text commentary of this Premier League match between Aston Villa and Norwich City at Villa Park.