Aston Villa 4 Norwich City 2 match report: Conor Hourihane hat-trick sinks Canaries
PUBLISHED: 16:54 19 August 2017 | UPDATED: 10:22 20 August 2017
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Conor Hourihane’s hat-trick consigned Norwich City to a 4-2 Championship defeat at Aston Villa, as Steve Bruce’s side notched up their first league win of the new season.
City hit back twice through Josh Murphy and Nelson Oliveira in a bizarre second half, but Hourihane’s brace after the interval secured the points after the ex-Barnsley midfielder and Andre Green had put the hosts in command during the first half.
Farke made four changes to the starting line up that beat QPR 2-0 on Wednesday. Cameron Jerome replaced Oliveira with Russell Martin, Steven Naismith back in the line up. Marco Stiepermann was handed a full debut but Ivo Pinto was not in the matchday squad after an injury-disrupted pre-season and an early exit in midweek with cramp.
The likes of Wes Hoolahan and James Maddison were on the bench and there was recall for Yanic Wildschut into the 18.
Angus Gunn twice denied Keinan Davis in a frenetic opening quarter. City failed to heed the warning when Harrison Reed was robbed far too easily in his own half to trigger a rapid home counter that saw Hourihane sweep home unmarked at the far post.
Norwich were punished again three minutes before the break when Green curled a 20-yard finish over Gunn following more indecision at the back from the Canaries in the build-up.
Murphy coolly slotted Reed’s clever pass on the hour mark but Hourihane’s deflected long range effort looped over the stranded Gunn eight minutes later.
City responded again, however, when Murphy’s slaloming ended with a cross sidefooted home seven yards out by the unmarked Oliveira.
But Hourihane completed his hat-trick in the 85th minute when he rifled a low shot into the bottom corner from 20 yards with City’s coaching staff appealing for an apparent handball not given during the build up.
• Aston Villa: Johnstone, Hutton (Bree 64), Terry, Chester, Taylor, Hourihane, Whelan, Onomah (Lansbury 30), Green, Elmohamady, Davis (Samba 86). Subs: Steer (GK), Bjarnason, Hogan.
• Booking: Hutton (foul on Murphy, 58)
• Goals: Hourihane (22, 68, 85), Green (42)
• Norwich City: Gunn, Martin, Zimmermann, Franke, Husband (Wildschut 86), Reed, Murphy, Naismith (Hoolahan 73), Vrancic, Stiepermann, Jerome (Oliveira 74). Subs: McGovern (GK), Watkins, Maddison, Tettey.
• Bookings: Murphy (foul on Hutton, 36); Franke (unsporting behaviour, 78)
• Goals: Murphy (60), Oliveira (79)
• Time added on: 2 minutes / 4 minutes
• Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire)
• Attendance: 29,157