Game #5290

Season | 2013-14 |

Matchday | #31 |
League Game | #28 |
Premier League Match-week | #28 |  
Manager Game | #77 |
Sunday, 2 March 2014
Premier League | Home | Norwich City | Villa Park | 30,303 | 

Game Summary

Manager | Paul Lambert | 

KO | 16.30 |
Referee | Anthony Taylor | 

HT Score | 4-0 |
FT Score | 4-1 |

FT Result | Won |

Last 5 Games | LLDLW | 

Scorers | Christian Benteke | 25’ | 27’ | 37’ | Own Goal 41’ |
Assists | Ron Vlaar | 25’ | Ashley Westwood | 27’ | Andreas Weimann | 37’ |

League Position | 11th | +2 |

Line Up |

GK Brad Guzan |
LB Ryan Bertrand |
CB Ron Vlaar |
ASSIST | 25' |
CB Nathan Baker |
M Karim El Ahmadi | 
M Ashley Westwood |
ASSIST | 27' |
M Fabian Delph |
M Leandro Bacuna |
CF Christian Benteke |
GOAL | 25' | 27' | 37' | SUB OFF | 82' |
F Gabby Agbonlahor |
F Andreas Weimann |
ASSIST | 37' | SUB OFF | 81' |

Substitutes |

W Marc Albrighton for F Andreas Weimann | 81’ | 
CF Grant Holt for CF Christian Benteke | 82’ |


Unused Substitutes |

GK Jed Steer
LB Joe Bennett
CB Ciaran Clark
M Yacouba Sylla
F Callum Robinson

Team Stats |

Starting XI Average Age | 25.38 | 

Oldest Player | GK Brad Guzan | 29.50 |

Youngest Player | M Leandro Bacuna | 22.55 |

Unavailable |

Injury |

W Charles N’Zogbia |

CB Jores Okore |

RB Chris Herd |

CF Libor Kozák | 

Bomb Squad |

GK Shay Given | 

Loaned Out |

F Darren Bent | Fulham | 16 August 2013 to 31 May 2014 |

M Jack Grealish | Notts County | 13 September 2013 to 4 May 2014 |

D Enda Stevens | Doncaster Rovers | 28 November 2013 to 31 May 2014 |

CF Nathan Delfouneso | Coventry City | 30 January 2014 to 31 May 2014 |

M Gary Gardner | Sheffield Wednesday | 12 February 2014 to 13 March 2014 |

F Jordan Bowery | Doncaster Rovers | 15 February 2014 to 16 March 2014 |

RB Alan Hutton | Bolton Wanderers | 28 February 2014 to 4 May 2014 |

Match Stats |

Possession F | 49
Possession A | 51
Shots F | 4
Shots A | 4
Shots on Target F | 2
Shots on Target A | 2
Corners F | 6
Corners A | 2
Fouls F | 12
Fouls A | 10

 On this day 2 March 2014 

This was only the second time that Villa had scored four goals in the first-half of a Premier League game. The previous occasion was in February 1995 when Villa led Wimbledon 5-1 at the break before going on to complete a 7-1 win at Villa Park.

Match Report

The Telegraph

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Villa Park was evacuated shortly after the game due to a fire alarm, but Chris Hughton is hoping Norwich City do not press the panic button.

Hughton’s future appears increasingly bleak after yet another chastening experience, as Paul Lambert extended his hoodoo over the team he guided to the Premier League thanks to a remarkable 16-minute turnaround.

This was a fourth successive away defeat for Norwich and Hughton’s position will come under further scrutiny, with the 55-year-old seemingly being judged on a game-by-game basis. He was widely believed to have escaped the sack with last weekend’s win over

Tottenham Hotspur but this setback, and the nature of their insipid first-half collapse, leaves him facing an anxious few days.

Lambert has not lost to the ­Canaries since his acrimonious exit from Carrow Road in May 2012 and Norwich’s performance was so poor that the travelling fans deliriously celebrated a shot on target in the second half.

“This is a real hammer blow and as a manager I have to accept any criticism that comes my way,” Hughton said. “It’s a sore one to take and the team have to take it on the chin.

“I put all my efforts into the job that I do. [Staying in the job] is not something that I think about because the only way I can affect that is by getting results. We are one of probably 10 teams in that bottom half that have had difficulties at some stage. I hope to get good-enough results.

“I didn’t see this coming because our performances have been good. I can understand the fans’ reaction because they travel a long way to support their team. We weren’t good enough and we’ve got to get ourselves ready for a home game against Stoke next Saturday.”

Whether Hughton will remain in charge for next weekend is a moot point, with chief executive David McNally recently adding to the pressure by admitting he has already considered potential replacements.

Norwich only have 10 games to ease the fingers of relegation from around their throats – they are four points ahead of Sunderland who are in 18th place but have two games in hand – with home matches against Stoke, Sunderland and West Brom likely to prove pivotal.

Despite Lambert’s record against his former employers, he cannot have envisaged such a stress-free afternoon, with Christian Benteke delivering a performance reminiscent of last season and an exquisite first goal.

So many times this season at Villa Park his players have struggled. It took Norwich only three minutes to breach Villa’s defence, and another depressing afternoon looked ominous. There was also a sense of inevitability that Norwich’s goal should come from Wes Hoolahan, the subject of three Villa bids in January making his first start since New Year’s Day.

Gary Hooper was sent scampering into the penalty area and his low cross was hooked home. Houlihan, who was desperate to leave for Villa Park, opted not to celebrate in front of the Holte End.

With Norwich seemingly in control, the atmosphere was threatening to turn mutinous but then the game swung dramatically in Villa’s favour in two minutes.

Benteke may have struggled for much of the season but his first goal was spectacular, hooking an overhead kick into the top corner despite the close attention of Sébastien Bassong. It was Villa’s first goal in nearly six hours and transformed the game. They were suddenly on the front foot and ahead in the 27th minute when Benteke powered home Ashley Westwood’s corner.

Hoolahan could have levelled but his shot was saved by Brad Guzan, with Fabian Delph then clearing his second attempt off the line. And the home team added a third, after a devastating counter-attack, Leandro Bacuna adding the gloss with a curled finish.

Then came a fourth, with Bassong turning Delph’s cross into his own net, under pressure from Gabriel Agbonlahor.
With the game all but won, the second half was a virtual non-event, with Villa squandering chances to vastly improve their goal difference.


Lambert said: “It wasn’t a great start for us but for 30 minutes after that we were absolutely blistering. Christian’s first goal probably set the tone for what was about to happen.

“We are miles from where we want to be but slowly and surely we’re getting there. It’s a young group and you try and keep them positive.”

*Match details*

*Aston Villa (4-3-3):* Guzan; Bacuna, Vlaar, Baker, Bertrand; Westwood, Delph, El Ahmadi; Weimann (Albrighton 81), Benteke (Holt 81), Agbonlahor.

*Subs (not used):* Steer (gk), J Bennett, Clark, Sylla, Robinson.

*Norwich (4-2-3-1):* Ruddy; Martin, Yobo, Bassong, Olsson; Tettey (Howson 79), Johnson; Snodgrass (Pilkington half-time), Hoolahan, Redmond (Elmander 63); Hooper.

*Subs (not used):* Bunn (gk), Whittaker, Becchio, E Bennett.

*Booked:* Tettey, Snodgrass.

*Referee:* Anthony Taylor (Greater Manchester)