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Premier League: Norwich 2 Aston Villa 0

13 May 2012 19:10

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 pre-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 - mainly with 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 Lambert's team displayed from the outset.

Shay Given did superbly to deny Jonny Howson when the midfielder curled a shot towards goal from 20 yards.

Given also stopped Lappin's free-kick before Jackson beat him 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 Gabriel 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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Info

Competition
Premier League
Date
13 May 2012
Game week
38
Kick-off
16:00
Half-time
2 - 0
Full-time
2 - 0
Venue
Carrow Road (Norwich, Norfolk)
Attendance
26803

Goals

G. Holt 8'
(assist by B. Johnson) 
1 - 0
S. Jackson 22'  
2 - 0

Lineups

Substitutes

# Player Bookings
5
21
7
3
11
15
31
# Player Bookings
25
38
32
10
14
22
40

Friday 19 September

16:01
15:53
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04:39
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02:04
01:23
00:59
00:59
00:42

Thursday 18 September

23:52
23:29
23:29
23:08
22:56
22:20
20:59
20:58
20:52
19:09
18:57
18:53
18:41
18:37
18:30
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17:55
17:46
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12:07
12:01
11:38
11:23
11:01
11:00
10:45
10:33
10:22
10:17
09:59
09:46
09:38
08:00
07:08
06:58
06:12
05:31
05:20
04:52
04:48
04:03
03:29
03:27
03:14
02:59
02:33
01:16
00:25
00:24
00:19
00:07
00:04
00:00

Wednesday 17 September

23:54
23:53
23:50
23:47
23:44
23:34
23:24
23:21
23:03
23:00
22:46
22:45
22:44
22:44
22:43
22:42
21:09
20:31
19:45
19:25
19:16
19:11
18:50
18:49
18:45
18:35
18:25
18:20
18:01
17:51
17:34
16:56
16:10
16:10
16:00
15:45
15:31
15:29
14:10
13:57
13:34
13:09
12:32
11:56
11:05
10:48
10:23
10:10
09:43
09:38
09:37
08:38
08:37
07:18
05:47
04:06
03:49
03:14
03:10
02:32
02:26
02:26
01:35
01:20
00:35
00:35
00:33
00:27
00:26
00:26
00:10
00:05
00:04
00:02
00:00

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