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Aston Villa 2-0 Norwich City: Canaries relegated from Premier League

Ollie Watkins scores for Aston Villa
Ollie Watkins scored his ninth league goal of the season

Norwich were relegated from the Premier League with defeat against Aston Villa at Villa Park.

The tame loss, coupled with Burnley’s dramatic comeback win at Watford, left the Canaries bottom of the table and 13 points from safety with four games to play.

Their fans continued to support as a relegation that has looked on the cards for some time was confirmed.

Ollie Watkins put Villa ahead in the first half, capitalising on a slip from Brandon Williams before lashing high into the net.

Williams’ error summed up Norwich’s season, as did their lack of potency in front of goal. They created limited openings, while Villa hit the woodwork in each half.

Danny Ings added a late goal in stoppage time to add to Norwich’s misery.

The low-key win for Villa ended a five-match winless run, lifted them to 13th in the table and took them to the 40-point mark.

Norwich head back to the Championship – again

This is the third successive time Norwich have been immediately relegated following promotion to the Premier League.

The afternoon was particularly painful for Norwich boss Dean Smith given that he left Villa earlier this season.

In truth, Norwich’s slide back to the second tier has looked likely throughout a season when they have rarely reached the standard required of a top-flight team.

Again, they were spirited and had good spells in possession, but their lack of threat in front of goal was once again laid bare, a diving stop to deny Milot Rashica from distance the only serious save Villa keeper Emiliano Martinez had to make.

Norwich have the fewest shots (336), fewest shots on target (100) and lowest shot conversion rate (7%) of all Premier League sides this season.

There were issues at the back too with Villa’s opener coming from a long, hopeful ball that was not cleared, even before Williams’ slip. The full-back was also outmuscled by Watkins, whose finish was aided by a slight deflection.

Norwich players look disappointed
Norwich have been relegated six times, more than any other in Premier League history

At full-time the Norwich fans applauded their side’s effort and there was no outpouring of emotion.

The club’s joint majority shareholder Delia Smith watched from the stands and some may again question the hierarchy’s resistance to spending big following promotion.

But their prudency, and manager Smith’s previous promotion with Villa, should leave Norwich well placed to bounce back once again.

For Villa this was a much-needed boost. It all but ends any fears of an unlikely slip towards relegation themselves, their winless run having seen them drop from ninth to 15th.

Manager Steven Gerrard handed a full debut to 18-year-old England Under-19 midfielder Tim Iroegbunam, who was solid in a holding role.

Player of the match

McGinnJohn McGinn

Aston Villa

  1. Squad number7Player nameMcGinn

  2. Squad number11Player nameWatkins

  3. Squad number20Player nameIngs

  4. Squad number23Player namePhilippe Coutinho

  5. Squad number10Player nameBuendía

  6. Squad number47Player nameIroegbunam

  7. Squad number41Player nameJ Ramsey

  8. Squad number2Player nameCash

  9. Squad number1Player nameMartínez

  10. Squad number27Player nameDigne

  11. Squad number5Player nameMings

  12. Squad number6Player nameDouglas Luiz

  13. Squad number16Player nameChambers

  14. Squad number31Player nameBailey

Norwich City

  1. Squad number5Player nameHanley

  2. Squad number8Player nameGilmour

  3. Squad number22Player namePukki

  4. Squad number1Player nameKrul

  5. Squad number2Player nameAarons

  6. Squad number21Player nameWilliams

  7. Squad number10Player nameDowell

  8. Squad number3Player nameByram

  9. Squad number17Player nameRashica

  10. Squad number16Player nameNormann

  11. Squad number20Player nameLees-Melou

  12. Squad number46Player nameRowe

  13. Squad number24Player nameSargent

  14. Squad number7Player nameRupp

Line-ups

Aston Villa

Formation 4-1-4-1

  • 1Martínez
  • 2Cash
  • 16ChambersBooked at 44mins
  • 5Mings
  • 27Digne
  • 47IroegbunamBooked at 61minsSubstituted forDouglas Luizat 73′minutes
  • 31BaileySubstituted forIngsat 40′minutesBooked at 65mins
  • 7McGinn
  • 41J RamseyBooked at 67mins
  • 23CoutinhoSubstituted forBuendíaat 76′minutes
  • 11Watkins

Substitutes

  • 4Konsa
  • 6Douglas Luiz
  • 10Buendía
  • 15Traoré
  • 18Young
  • 19Nakamba
  • 20Ings
  • 25Olsen
  • 33Chukwuemeka

Norwich

Formation 4-2-3-1

  • 1Krul
  • 2AaronsBooked at 23mins
  • 5Hanley
  • 3Byram
  • 21Williams
  • 8Gilmour
  • 16Normann
  • 10Dowell
  • 20Lees-MelouSubstituted forSargentat 67′minutesSubstituted forRuppat 81′minutes
  • 17RashicaSubstituted forRoweat 78′minutes
  • 22Pukki

Substitutes

  • 4Gibson
  • 7Rupp
  • 11Placheta
  • 18Tzolis
  • 19Sørensen
  • 24Sargent
  • 28Gunn
  • 30Giannoulis
  • 46Rowe

Referee:
John Brooks

Attendance:
40,290

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