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Premier League

  • September 21, 2013
  • • 7:45 AM
  • • Carrow Road, Norwich, Norfolk
  • Referee: C. Foy
  • • Attendance: 26813

Norwich City 0-1 Aston Villa: Benteke blow mars Kozak winner

The Czech Republic international recorded his first strike for his new club moments after replacing the talismanic striker, with Brad Guzan having earlier saved a penalty

Aston Villa ran out a 1-0 winner at Carrow Road as Libor Kozak's first-half goal saw off host Norwich City in their Premier League clash.

The Czech's first ever strike for the Villans came only moments after coming off the bench in place of Christian Benteke, who had to withdraw due to an injury.

Villa had earlier survived a penalty when Ciaran Clark handballed in the box, Brad Guzan making a fine save from Robert Snodgrass on the spot.

Even the introduction of Gary Hooper for his Premier League debut could not lift Norwich, which slipped to a third top-flight defeat of the season.

Canaries boss Chris Hughton made two changes to the side beaten by Tottenham, with Russell Martin and Jonny Howson replacing Steven Whittaker and Bradley Johnson.

There were three alterations for the visitors - two of which were forced on Lambert. With Jores Okore and Ashley Westwood both suffering with injuries, Leandro Bacuna and Aleksandar Tonev replaced them, while Clark came in for Matthew Lowton.

Villa started the game well and could have opened the scoring in the first five minutes as Andreas Weimann saw one effort well saved by John Ruddy and a second strike the foot of the post.

Having survived that scare, Norwich was gifted an opportunity to break the deadlock when referee Chris Foy awarded a penalty after Clark had handled in the sixth minute.

The decision looked harsh on the defender but Brad Guzan came to his rescue with a fine save diving to his left to parry Snodgrass's poor spot kick.

Villa's injury problems continued midway through the half as top scorer Benteke was substituted with a groin problem. The Belgium international slipped when trying to control a long ball out of defense and, despite trying to play on, had to be replaced by Kozak.

Ricky van Wolfswinkel should have tested Guzan while Villa was readying the replacement but the Dutchman fired wide from a low cross from Martin and Norwich was punished for the wastefulness moments later as the Czech Republic international grabbed his first goal for the club on the half-hour mark.

Kozak missed his initial effort on goal but fired into the net from six yards when Gabriel Agbonlahor rolled the loose ball back to him.

Norwich began the second half at a high tempo and spent large parts camped in the Villa half but still struggled to test Guzan. Good crosses from Snodgrass and Leroy Fer failed to find any teammates inside the penalty area and Villa was able to clear with ease.

The visitors threatened on the counterattack but could not take their opportunities when they had sight of goal, with Tonev particularly guilty of missing chances.

Hooper then saw a late chance brilliantly tipped over by Guzan as the American secured Villa's first clean sheet in 27 Premier League matches.