When Aston Villa fans saw the departure of former head coach Dean Smith and the arrival of new gaffer Steven Gerrard, once he took the Norwich City job, we always knew there would be a quick reunion as we made the trip to Carrow Road tonight.
With both sides having Covid issues again the exact lineup each gaffer would go for was slightly up in the air, but with plenty of familiarity on both sides, the script was set for a tight and entertaining encounter.
Tight it wasn’t, but it was a good bright start from us and half hour in we were clearly the side on top and threatening more, but the chance was a long ranger from John McGinn. It didn’t take long to come though, Jacob Ramsey picked the ball up on the half way line and after a good run at their defence he powered the ball into the back of the net to give us the 1-0 advantage.
Although the hosts had a few moments, we saw the half out reasonably comfortably and we wouldn’t have been bad value for 2-0 by the break, but sadly it wasn’t to be.
So what did the second half have in store?
We started similar and Ramsey was having the game of his life, but we had got a bit sloppy at the back and almost gifted Norwich an equaliser but thankfully Emi Martinez did just enough to put them off.
Matty Targett should’ve done better with his effort and it would’ve been a belter had it come off, and Ollie Watkins was unlucky with his header, but it felt like it was only a matter of time before a second came.
As we headed towards the final 20 minute mark it should’ve been two as well, but rather predictably as Watkins is fouled in the box, VAR takes a tea break and the referee adopts his inner Arsene Wenger.
The officiating this season has gone to ridiculous levels of incompetence and we are seeing clear and obvious errors every single game, yet VAR never gets involved unless it suits a broadcasters favourite.
It definitely should’ve been two with 15 left on the clock but Danny Ings surprisingly fluffed his lines and Emi Buendia had no luck with his drive as Watkins set him up for the strike.
It did set up a nervy end to the game as a second wasn’t looking likely now, but Norwich were started to really push us and despite all our earlier control, they looked the far more likely to score next.
And then it almost came as we broke and Ollie played in Cash brilliantly, but you had to credit the tackle. It only needed a few minutes though, some fantastic and persistent work from Chukwuemeka saw him in the box and he put the perfect ball across for Ollie to settle our nerves.
Thank God for that.
Ramsey could’ve capped his performance as Luiz put in a good ball to Ollie, and he fed him in but the contact wasn’t good enough to beat the keeper sadly and that was the whistle.
Enjoy your evening’s all.
14/12/2021 7:45 pm
Referee: David Coote
|Norwich City||Aston Villa|
|Ramsey (34), Watkins (87)|