- English Barclays Premier League
- 13 May 2012, 2:00pm
- Carrow Road
- Attendance: 26,803
90 mins:FULL TIME: NORWICH 2-0 ASTON VILLA
89 mins:Bannan has an effort from 30 yards but the ball sails well wide. Desperate stuff from the Villa man.
89 mins:Hoolahan has a strong effort which fails to beat Given, even though the ball was deflected.
89 mins:Crofts looks for Morison's run but he overhits the ball and it goes out of play. That has genuinely been the best of the action in the last ten minutes.
87 mins:Stephen Ireland is booked for pulling Bradley Johnson back. No arguments about that one.
85 mins:Crofts crosses the ball into the Villa area but Dunne makes the clearance.
83 mins:The game is rather lifeless now. Norwich are comfortable and are playing neat passing football. Villa are worrying - they will need to enhance their squad considerably if they are to avoid relegation next season.
80 mins:Final substitution for Villa - Nathan Baker replaces Stephen Warnock.
78 mins:The game is petering out into a rather limp conclusion. Norwich have won this game and Villa don't seem to have any heart at all.
76 mins:Norwich make their final change - Jonathan Howson comes off and Andrew Crofts comes on.
74 mins:Lichaj claims he was brought down for a penalty but the referee is having none of it. Replays suggest it was good defending by Norwich. Good call from Atkinson.
73 mins:Hoolahan plays in Wilbraham but he fires his shot just over the crossbar.
72 mins:Despite narrowly avoiding conceding, Norwich are still in control in this game.
71 mins:Agbonlahor cuts into the box and cannons an effort off the post. That's the closest Villa have come!
69 mins:Grant Holt is replaced by Steve Morison for Norwich.
69 mins:Simeon Jackson is replaced by Aaron Wilbraham for Norwich.
67 mins:The endeavour of Holt, who has been very lively today, wins his side a corner but nothing comes from it.
65 mins:Gary Gardner replaces Carlos Cuellar, who leaves the Villa Park pitch possibly for the last time.
63 mins:Jackson launches a ferocious strike from the edge of the area, forcing another fine save from Given. The Villa keeper has kept his side in the game today.
62 mins:Holt whips another cross into the box and Elliott Bennett gets his head on it. His effort fizzes wide.
61 mins:Jackson wins a corner for Norwich, which is dinked into the box. Collins gets his head to it just ahead of Holt who was loitering.
60 mins:Hoolahan has played exceptionally well today - he has been at the heart of the vast majority of Norwich's positive forward play this afternoon.
59 mins:The ball is swung into the box by Lappin but Collins blocks. The ball breaks to Naughton, whose shot fizzes towards goal but Given collects.
57 mins:Bannan takes a free kick for Villa left-footed from the right. Ruddy collects.
55 mins:Jackson takes a shot from the free kick but that's not troubling anyone.
55 mins:Ciaran Clark picks up the second yellow card of the game for hacking down Jackson. A free kick is awarded.
54 mins:Holt has an effort which is deflected into the grateful arms of Given.
53 mins:Hoolahan latches on to Ryan Bennett's cross but his volley is well wide.
51 mins:So three excellent saves from Ruddy at the start of this second half. Villa have been fed a rocket at half-time by McLeish and look hungry.
49 mins:Bannan's inswinging corner is cleared by Lappin at the near post. Ireland takes a shot, forcing another save from Ruddy. From the second corner, Ryan Bennett makes the clearance.
48 mins:Ireland takes a shot which is saved by Ruddy. The ball breaks to Heskey, who forces another save out of the Norwich keeper.
46 mins:Holt looks for Jackson with a nice flick but the ball runs out for a goal kick.
45 mins:Chris Herd is replaced by Barry Bannan for Aston Villa in the only half-time substitution.
45 mins:The referee signals the start of the second half.
45 mins:HALF TIME: NORWICH 2-0 ASTON VILLA
44 mins:A Warnock cross is blocked by Naughton and a corner is conceded. Nothing comes from it.
42 mins:Cuellar concedes a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jonathan Howson. Bradley Johnson takes it, Dunne clears but the ball falls to Hoolahan. He takes a shot which is saved by Given.
40 mins:Nothing comes from a rather dreadful corner as Norwich manage to clear comfortably.
40 mins:Lichaj drives towards the Norwich box before cutting inside, into the D. He launches a rasping shot that Ruddy saves. That's the best move of the half for Villa.
37 mins:Warnock crosses the ball into the box but it is cleared by Ryan Bennett.
36 mins:It's fair to say that Given is keeping Villa in this match. Their defence has been abysmal and Norwich could have had many more already this afternoon.
35 mins:Elliott Bennett cuts into the centre once again as the Villa defence stands off. Another rasping shot comes in, which Given excellently saves.
32 mins:Elliott Bennett cuts inside from the right and launches a fizzing shot which clatters against the advertising hoardings.
30 mins:Ruddy in the Norwich goal punches the ball away from the corner and the Canaries break. Jackson is flagged offside.
29 mins:Better from Villa, and Stephen Ireland particularly, who wins a corner in a foray into Norwich territory.
27 mins:Norwich have conceded 14 goals in their last four games and are 13 games without a clean sheet. Clearly there is hope for Villa.
25 mins:Jackson crosses the ball into the Villa box but Given comfortably collects. The ball may have hit Cuellar's arm there but referee Martin Atkinson waves the appeals away.
22 mins:A succession of offsides slows the game down as Aston Villa boss Alex McLeish shifts to a 4-4-2 formation in the hope of generating more attacking threat.
21 mins:GOAL: NORWICH 2-0 ASTON VILLA: It really shouldn't be this easy. Villa's defence is caught out by a long ball, Holt distracts the centre-backs with an element of canniness and this allows Simeon JACKSON to score from inside the six-yard box.
19 mins:Agbonlahor is flagged offside in a rare Villa foray into opposition territory.
17 mins:Excellent save from Given! Simon Lappin sends a left-footed free kick over the wall and threatens the Villa goal once again.
15 mins:Stephen Warnock is flagged offside, bringing to an end a promising Villa move.
14 mins:Emile Heskey is playing out wide today but it's not really working. The England man has been absent in the first quarter of an hour of this game.
12 mins:It's end-to-end and breathless stuff as first Elliott Bennett launches two crosses into the Villa box before Cuellar has an attempt of his own.
10 mins:Elliott Bennett has a rasping long-range shot which is pawed away by Shay Given in the Villa goal.
10 mins:A Wes Hoolahan cross is cleared by Lichaj.
8 mins:GOAL: NORWICH 1-0 ASTON VILLA: An excellent ball into the box flatfoots the Villa defence and allows HOLT to edge the ball home from six yards at the back stick.
7 mins:Grant Holt receives the first yellow card of the game for not moving away from a Villa free kick.
6 mins:Ryan Bennett's cross is deflected out for a corner but little comes from the dead ball play.
5 mins:Elliott Bennett swings the ball into the box but it is first blocked by Eric Lichaj and then the second attempt is blocked by Collins.
4 mins:The game is settling down quite nicely, some excellent movement from both sides suggests both are looking for a win. A rare win in fact as Villa haven't won in nine and Norwich haven't won in three.
2 mins:The corner is delivered into the box but fails to beat the first man and the Canaries clear.
2 mins:Villa are awarded the first corner of the game after a Carlos Cuellar cross is deflected out of play by Elliott Bennett.
1 mins:Aston Villa are awarded a free kick, which is chipped into the box and collected comfortably by John Ruddy in the Norwich goal.
The referee signals the start of the game.
Norwich v Aston Villa is a game that, in reality, has little riding on it. Villa could still be relegated if they lose, Bolton win and a 17 goal goal difference is overturned. Meanwhile, Norwich are comfortably in mid-table but will be hoping to send the fans off on a high after a successful return to the top flight.
Norwich boss Paul Lambert has named an unchanged side for the clash while James Collins and Gabby Agbonlahor return for Villa, with Charles N'Zogbia and the injured Alan Hutton making way. There is no Darren Bent either, which is a worry for England fans.
- English Barclays Premier League
- 13 May 2012, 2:00pm
- Carrow Road
- Attendance: 26,803
Grant Holt and Simeon Jackson scored as Norwich beat Aston Villa 2-0 at Carrow Road to end their fine Premier League campaign on a high.
Many had expected Paul Lambert's Canaries to be battling at the wrong end of the table on their first return to the elite for six seasons.
However, a string of industrious displays kept Lambert's hard-working side clear of danger well before this afternoon's final day visit of Villa, who barring a monumental goals swing, were also secure of top-flight status, albeit after what has been an uninspiring campaign under Alex McLeish.
First-half goals from leading scorer Holt and Jackson made for a party atmosphere in the Norfolk sunshine - where the several thousand Villa fans sent a loud and clear message they expected better next season.
It was a strong start by the home side, who had been outclassed in their last two matches here by Manchester City and Liverpool.
After Holt was booked for failing to retreat at a free-kick, the Norwich captain fired the Canaries in front after eight minutes.
James Collins bundled over Simeon Jackson, 25 yards out on the right.
Bradley Johnson floated the resulting free-kick into the Villa box, where Holt got up between two defenders at the far post, the ball cannoning off his shoulder and past Shay Given for a 15th Premier League goal.
Norwich continued to press and Jonny Howson let fly from 20 yards, with Given taking no chances as he turned the shot, which was going wide, around the post at full stretch.
The Villa goalkeeper was then let down by his static defence as Norwich went 2-0 up after 22 minutes.
A long ball forward from right-back Kyle Naughton was headed back across his own six-yard box by Carlos Cuellar, straight into the path of Jackson.
Given was out quickly to make a smart block, but the diminutive Canada striker calmly slotted the rebound into an empty net.
Norwich had a strong shout for a penalty when Jackson's cross hit Cuellar's outstretched arm - but referee Martin Atkinson saw nothing untoward and waved play on.
Villa showed little in way of attacking intent, with Norwich enjoying a spell of possession which just lacked a final telling pass.
Lambert has been touted as a potential candidate should owner Randy Lerner look to make a change at Villa Park during the summer - with both sets of fans chanting the Scotsman's name, one as a sign of appreciation and the other as a message to their board.
The visitors finally sprung to life five minutes before the break as American defender Eric Lichaj strode to the edge of the Norwich penalty area and sent in a low shot which John Ruddy palmed around the post.
Cuellar blocked Howson right on the left corner of the penalty area, with the referee giving a free-kick rather than pointing to the spot, despite replays suggesting the offense took place just inside the line.
Villa made a change for the start of the second half as midfielder Chris Herd was replaced by Barry Bannan, and they quickly had a dominant spell.
Ruddy pushed Emile Heskey's low shot around the post before tipping over Stephen Ireland's 20-yard rising drive.
Norwich, though, were soon back on the offensive themselves, with Jackson stretching the Villa backline.
After 63 minutes, the Canada striker, whose goal at Portsmouth this time last season had secured promotion back up to the top flight, sent a low, 20-yard effort goalwards, which Given turned behind at full stretch.
Villa were unfortunate not to pull a goal back when Gabriel Agbonlahor cut in from the left and his shot was touched on to the inside of the far post by Ruddy, with Russell Martin hacking the loose ball clear.
Norwich were still creating chances at the other end, where substitute Aaron Wilbraham blazed over before winger Elliott Bennett did the same.