Match: Villa v Norwich City
Date: April 7, 2018
Competition: Sky Bet Championship
Venue: Carrow Road
Weather: 12c, overcast with sunny outbreaks
Murphy 45, Srbeny 54, Maddison 72
A second-half strike from Jack Grealish wasn’t enough for Villa as they slipped to a 3-1 defeat at Norwich City.
The midfielder halved the hosts’ 2-0 lead on 67 minutes but City struck again minutes later to seal all three points.
An even and cagey first half threatened to spark into life early on when James Maddison stood over a free-kick for the Canaries in a good position but lashed his effort well over.
Sam Johnstone was called into action to keep out Josh Murphy while Mario Vrancic skewed over inside the box.
Villa’s best half-chances fell to Conor Hourihane who twice saw defenders deny him a shot on target while Scott Hogan met the same fate after good work from Birkir Bjarnason and Ahmed Elmohamady down the right flank.
In first half stoppage time, the deadlock was broken by Josh Murphy who cut in from the right and curled a superb effort into the back of the net via the upright.
Ten minutes into the second half the Canaries doubled their advantage with Dennis Srbeny getting the decisive touch on a ball into the middle.
The introduction of Jonathan Kodjia and Lewis Grabban from the bench, as well as a change of shape, brought an immediate reward for Villa. Jack Grealish was teed up by Kodjia on the edge of the box and his low drive found the bottom corner to breathe new life into the visitors.
Moments later, Grealish was involved again down the right-hand side this time but Scott Hogan couldn’t convert from close range.
Despite the pressure from the visitors, it was Norwich who sealed the win with a third twenty minutes from time.
After getting behind in down the right flank Murphy teed up Maddison to sweep home from six yards.
Maddison, Reed, Srbeny, Murphy
Hourihane, Grealish, Chester
ASTON VILLA: Johnstone; Elmohamady, Terry, Chester, Taylor; Snodgrass (Grabban 55), Bjarnason, Hourihane, Adomah (Kodjia 55); Grealish, Hogan. Unused subs: Bunn, Whelan, Jedinak, Lansbury, Onomah.
NORWICH CITY: Gunn; Pinto, Hanley, Klose, Lewis; Reed (Hoolahan 82), Tettey; Vrancic, Maddison (Zimmermann 80), Murphy; Srbeny (Oliveira 85). Unused subs: McGovern, Husband, Leitner, Edwards.
Referee: Peter BankesAssistant
Referee 1: Daniel Leach
Assistant referee 2: Timothy Wood
Fourth Official: Charles Breakspear