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Played
May 13, 2012 10:00 PM MYT
Carrow Road — Norwich, Norfolk
Referee:‬ M. Atkinson‎
Attendance:‬ 26803‎
 
8′ Grant Holt
 
22′ K. Jackson
 
Top of the Match
Jonny Howson
Jonny Howson
Norwich City
K. Jackson
K. Jackson
Norwich City
Flop of the Match
Carlos Javier Cuéllar
Carlos Javier Cuéllar
Aston Villa
Gabriel Agbonlahor
Gabriel Agbonlahor
Aston Villa

Norwich 2-0 Aston Villa: Early Holt & Jackson strikes seal miserable end to the season for McLeish

The Canaries eased to victory at Carrow Road and rose to 12th in the Premier League table at the end of a superb first season back in the top flight, with the visitors down to 16th

By Oliver Platt at Carrow Road

EPL,Grant Holt,Norwich City v Blackburn Rovers
Getty Images

Norwich City capped off a superb first season back in the Premier League with a convincing 2-0 victory over Aston Villa.

The Canaries were in control at Carrow Road from the first minute and took an early lead when Grant Holt bundled home a free kick.

Simeon Jackson made the most of Carlos Cuellar's error to double the lead as Villa offered very little in resistance.

The away side were poor throughout and did not do the job security of their under-pressure manager, Alex McLeish, any favours.

Paul Lambert gave Holt a last chance to impress England manager Roy Hodgson before the Euro 2012 friendly matches, the former Nottingham Forest striker partnering Simeon Jackson in attack. Simon Lappin was handed a start at left-back.

Cuellar and Emile Heskey both started in what was to be their last appearances for Villa, the duo having both announced that they will be leaving the club upon the expiry of their contracts in the summer. Stephen Warnock was preferred to Charles N'Zogbia in midfield.

Villa have endured a miserable season and it did not appear as the relief of securing their Premier League survival had lifted any of the weight off of their shoulders. Norwich dominated the early exchanges and were quick to take advantage of the chances they carved out.

Bradley Johnson curled a free-kick in from the left-hand side which Holt bundled home – with the help of his shoulder – at the far post to give the Canaries the lead.

Villa were able to retain possession with relative ease but lacked the pace and urgency Paul Lambert's team displayed from the off. Shay Given did superbly to deny Jonny Howson when the midfielder curled a shot towards goal from 20 yards.

Given also stopped Simon Lappin's free kick before Jackson beat him to the rebound to double the Norwich lead. The Canadian striker latched on to Cuellar's poor header and tapped in the rebound from close range after his initial effort had been saved.

Elliott Bennett went close with two further shots before half-time as Villa's performance deteriorated drastically, with McLeish cutting a despondent figure on the touchline.

Barry Bannan was introduced at the break as McLeish looked to inject some attacking spark into his team by switching to a 4-2-3-1 formation. The early signs were positive – Stephen Ireland was denied by John Ruddy from 20 yards before the Norwich goalkeeper did well to turn away Heskey's deflected shot.

Norwich were quick, however to regain their grip on the game. Ireland and Heskey were left to chase shadows as Wes Hoolahan volleyed just over the bar after Elliott Bennett's cross from the right.

The Irishman turned supplier to set up Kyle Naughton for a shot that Given saved before the goalkeeper also stopped Ryan Bennett's header.

Given had to be at his best to prevent the lively Jackson from doubling his tally after 65 minutes. Cutting inside on the edge of the box, the former Gillingham man rifled a low shot that was tipped just wide.

At the other end, Ruddy was impressively alert. Largely untested throughout, he nevertheless was sharp enough to push Agbonlahor's shot on to the post after the striker had cut inside from the left.

Elliott Bennett had proved a handful all afternoon and shot just over the crossbar on his weaker left foot following the impressive Howson's through ball as the Norwich chances continued to rain.

The Canaries' victory took them above Sunderland and Swansea to 12th in the table as they concluded a dream return to the top flight.


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Norwich City

1
John Ruddy
Goalkeeper
3.50
2
Russell Martin
Defender
3.00
16
Kyle Naughton
Defender
3.00
24
Ryan Bennett
Defender
3.50
4
Bradley Johnson
Midfielder
8′
3.00
14
Wesley Hoolahan
Midfielder
3.00
17
Elliott Bennett
Midfielder
3.50
24
Simon Lappin
Midfielder
3.00
8
Jonny Howson
Midfielder
77′
3.50
29
Grant Holt
Striker
8′ 8′ 68′
3.50
10
K. Jackson
Striker
22′ 68′
3.50

Aston Villa

3.00
31
Shay Given
Goalkeeper
2.50
13
2.50
5
2.50
19
2.50
6
2.00
24
3.00
43
Eric Lichaj
Defender
2.50
32
2.50
17
Chris Herd
Midfielder
46′
2.50
11
2.50
-

Substitutes

13
Jed Steer
Goalkeeper
 - 
3
Adam Drury
Defender
 - 
-
Andrew Crofts
Midfielder
77′
3.00
11
Andrew Surman
Midfielder
 - 
25
David Fox
Midfielder
 - 
20
3.00
18
3.00

Substitutes

 - 
1
Bradley Guzan
Goalkeeper
 - 
2
 - 
-
2.50
46
Barry Bannan
Midfielder
46′
2.50
22
Gary Gardner
Midfielder
66′
 - 
40
 - 
14

Coach/Manager

-
 - 

Coach/Manager

 - 
-
 
  • Goal
  • Own Goal
  • Penalty
  • Penalty Missed
  • Yellow Card
  • Assist
  • Penalty Save
  • Penalty Shootout Goal
  • Penalty Shootout Miss
  • Yellow Card / Red Card
  • Red Card
  • Substitution IN
  • Substitution OUT
  • Injury
  • Goal.com Rating
  • Goal.com Man of the Match
  • Goal.com Flop of the Match
  • Top & Flop Global Ranking
  • Fans' Man of the Match
  • Fans' Flop of the Match
Results
 
Top Scorers
Player   Goals Penalties
Luis Suárez Luis Suárez
Striker
Liverpool
29 0
Daniel Sturridge Daniel Sturridge
Striker
Liverpool
20 0
Yaya Touré Yaya Touré
Midfielder
Man City
18 6
Wayne Rooney Wayne Rooney
Striker
Man. United
15 2
Sergio Agüero Sergio Agüero
Striker
Man City
15 0