We’ve picked five key talking points from Aston Villa’s demolition of Norwich City at Carrow Road.

Words: @HazaTrand


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Aston Villa secured their biggest Premier League win since March 2015 in beating Norwich City 5-1 at Carrow Road.

We’ve picked out five key talking point points from the game – which is pretty apt this weekend due to the five goals.

A fruitful outing for Wesley

It’s now four goals in eight outings for the Big Brazilian.

If the striker carries on that kind of scoring record until the end of the season, he will have more than justified is £22,000,000 price tag.

Wesley opened the scoring after getting in between the two Norwich defenders, taking El Ghazi’s cross down onto his chest before cutting the ball past Michael McGovern.

A quarter of an hour later, the 22-year-old tapped in Conor Hourihane’s low cross to make it two. There was also the penalty miss – but we’ll gloss over that.

In the second half, Wesley saw much less of the ball with Aston Villa opting to exploit Norwich’s lack of central defensive cover – however, the former Club Brugge man worked back into midfield on a number of occasions -answering any questions about his hunger and desire.

Pressure pays off

Smith’s side certainly had their Weetabix yesterday morning.

With more teams looking to pass the ball around the back these days, it’s vital that Aston Villa are willing to press teams. Yesterday, the press paid off.

Matt Targett’s positive mindset allowed him to intercept a loose Norwich pass – a piece of play that leads to Wesley’s second goal – this is a prime example.

At one point Jack Grealish’s mere presence forced Ibrahim Amadou to put the ball out of play. Instances like these demoralise the opposition tenfold.

Aston Villa’s toolbox

This talking point is also likely to be the reason that Aston Villa stay up – it’s the variety of attacking options available.

Hourihane’s deliveries, Jack’s trickery, the pace of El Ghazi, the power of Wesley and the box-to-box game of McGinn. It’s a dangerous concoction for other teams to deal with.

Today four of those five were directly involved in goals. Unlike in past games, our attacking players read each other’s movements to a tee. This won’t be that last time we’ll look this dangerous going forward this calendar year either.

Jack off the Gre-leash

It’s a shame that Gareth Southgate has already announced his England squad, because after Grealish’s performance again Norwich the Three Lions gaffer may be having second thoughts.

Aston Villa’s captain has blossomed since Dean Smith’s tactical re-jig and Conor Hourihane has come into the midfield and Marvelous Nakamba has been marshalling in front of the defence. The amount of tackles that are required from Jack has dropped, illustrating how he’s less shackled by defensive responsibility.

Then there’s his goal – driving at the Norwich defence, Grealish played a one-two with El Ghazi prior to passing the ball into the bottom corner. A silky strike from a silky player.

Engels Injury

One of the handful of sour notes of the afternoon was Bjorn Engels having to depart with fifteen to go.

The Belgian hobbled off after seemingly being stamped on by Teemu Pukkki and continued to look uncomfortable on his walk down the tunnel.

Engels has arguably been Aston Villa’s most underrated player this season. Luckily, Smith seems to think he’s okay, and the international break should give the defender ample time to recover before Brighton are hosted at Villa Park on the 19th.

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