Conor Hourihane continued his scoring against Norwich as Aston Villa took all three points from struggling Norwich City.
Words: Regan Foy | @findfoy
Aston Villa returned to Villa Park once more following their 3-1 defeat to Southampton only a week ago, facing fellow relegation zone outfit Norwich City.
The home side started the stronger of the two sides, but Norwich were the first to offer a shot on target as an effort from Todd Cantwell from just inside the box rolled towards Heaton for an easy collection.
There were shouts for a hand-ball from the crowd in the fifteenth minute as Ezri Konsa hit a half-volley towards goal – but the ball had hit the arm of Wesley rather than a Norwich player.
A VAR check was underway shortly after as Buendia played a scintillating ball into Pukki before the Finnish forward was crowded out by a trio of Konsa, Hause and Heaton.
Teemu Pukki could have put Norwich ahead via a counter-attack as Marvelous Nakamba lost the ball, but Ezri Konsa managed to track back well, get goal side of the forward and then slice the ball away as he was going to ground.
Alexander Tettey picked up the first yellow card of the afternoon in the 35th minute for a challenge on Douglas Luiz.
Teemu Pukki picked up a card a few minutes before half-time for a foul to stop Jack Grealish from counter-attacking.
Douglas Luiz was the hero Aston Villa needed in the 50th minute as Alexander Tettey fired a driven shot towards goal – with the Brazilian on the line able to touch the ball over the bar.
Tom Heaton followed this up with an excellent save to deny Trybull from the resulting corner.
Jack Grealish forced Tim Krul into a save with an edge of the box shot in the 54th.
Marvelous Nakamba was replaced by Conor Hourihane in the 56th minute.
And it was Hourihane that brought Aston Villa ahead just eight minutes later, as Jack Grealish weaved through the defence like a knife through a Christmas cheeseboard, before setting the Irish midfielder on his left foot – with Hourihane curling an effort into the right side of the goal.
The game saw Norwich make a triple sub to try and find a way back into the game.
The 83rd minute saw Trezeguet replaced by Jota.
Tom Heaton was forced into an exceptional save five minutes before the 90 to keep Aston Villa ahead – the second or third of the game for the Aston Villa keeper.
Wesley was booked for his involvement in a fracas in the 88th.
Five minutes of added time came at the end of the 90, and the 91st saw El Ghazi replaced by Henri Lansbury.
A much needed three points for Aston Villa.