Norwich City Premier League A-Z: Aston Villa away - never to be forgotten
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Norwich will be joined in the top flight by ASTON VILLA, who came up courtesy of a play-off final victory over Derby. Chris Lakey looks at some past encounters
May 5, 2019
Villa 1 City 2
There's nowhere else to start, surely?
It's still vivid in the minds of many who were at Villa Park for the final away game of the season - and will go down in the history books as one of the 'great' days in the life of Norwich City supporters.
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Villa had already guaranteed themselves a play-off spot but there was little to play for - keeping players fit and healthy was perhaps Dean Smith's main objective.
City were already promoted, thanks to the previous week's win over Blackburn, but the icing on the seasonal cake was to win the Championship title outright. It needed just a point to guarantee it: but Villa were on a run of 11 games unbeaten, 10 of them wins.
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The discipline that has served City so well this season didn't desert them: there was a steely determination to take the crown. When Teemu Pukki put City ahead on seven minutes it looked like being a good day in the Midlands, and although Jonathan Kodija replied soon after, with minutes remaining, City's job was almost done. But they like to do things the right way, and Mario Vrancic popped up with another brilliant free-kick to seal the points with four minutes remaining. A fitting end to a fantastic season.
October 23, 2018
City 2 Villa 1
The first half of the double over Villa was completed thanks to two goals from on-loan Jordan Rhodes.
James Chester had given the visitors a 19th-minute lead, but City were in no mood to surrender. Rhodes levelled nine minutes after the interval and then got the winner in the 73rd-minute.
Both goals were typical Rhodes: he nipped in front of Alan Hutton to head home Emi Buendia's cross from close range and then bought himself a fraction of a second to get to Marco Stiepermann's pass following a flowing City move.
One downside for City was the sight of substitute Louis Thompson going down with a shoulder injury just seconds after coming on: it was his last first team appearance of the season.
December 28, 2015
City 2 Villa 0
A notable City debut from the new City chairman, Ed Balls, who must have thought it was an easy job after goals from Jonny Howson and Dieumerci Mbokani boosted City's chances of beating the drop. It also meant Villa were cut further adrift at the bottom of the table. The win lifted City further away from the relegation zone, with manager Alex Neil having described it as a "must-win", and while it won't go down as one of the great games, it was all about the points, nothing less. It was only the second clean sheet of the season for City
"The next 19 are going to be huge, but today has probably been our biggest game, because it takes us to 20 points at the halfway stage and I feel there is more to come from us in the second half of the season," said Neil.
Alas, it didn't work out that way: City finished the campaign second from bottom, Villa the only team below them.
March 24, 1993
City 1 Villa 0
Back in the early 90s football changed forever: the Premiership came into being and, in its first season, City featured heavily at the top end, taking on and beating the big boys at their own game.
Victory over Villa - courtesy of a goal by John Polston nine minutes from time - knocked Villa off the top of the table.
It also put Norwich back on top, for the eighth time that season - and it proved City were rightfully in the mix given they had bounced back after a 3-0 defeat at Wimbledon the previous Saturday.
City boss Mike Walker himself had suggested the very thing - that City were out of the race - but did so with tongue in cheek.
In the end, it was Manchester United who won it, 10 points ahead of Villa with City third, another two behind.
March 1, 1975
Villa 1 City 0
Defeats don't usually get a mention in this type of look-back, but how often do City get to a Wembley Cup final? Funnily enough, this was their second in the space of two years, having lost the same League Cup to Spurs in 1973.
This time they were undone by a Ray Graydon goal, following up after Kevin Keelan had saved his penalty. Villa were managed by Canaries managerial legend Ron Saunders, with John Bond at the helm for the Canaries.
Appointed in October last year after Villa sacked Steve Bruce. Smith is a Villa fan - although he never played for the club. Had managerial success with Walsall and Brentford before heading back to the Midlands. Took Villa from 14th in the Championship to the play-off final, and Wembley glory.
When City won at Villa Park on the final day of the season it sealed the title, a week after promotion was wrapped up. Villa gave City a guard of honour. "I am very respectful of what they have done this season. We have had two very good games against them. That was just total respect for Norwich."
Didn't start well, with Steve Bruce struggling to get the Villans going. He paid the price in October, losing his job after one win in nine league games. Villa were reportedly looking for a high-profile replacement, with Thierry Henry, Sam Allardyce and Brendan Rodgers all mentioned in despatches. Smith went under the radar, but certainly got Villa going. After a few weeks to get his eye in, Villa consolidated. Four defeats in 20 games set up a club record run of 10 consecutive league wins, which began in March. Game 11 was a draw, the next game that famous win at Villa Park by Norwich City. But Villa had done enough and, after disposing of West Brom in the play-off semi-finals, beat Derby 2-1 at Wembley.
Will face the same sort of challenges at the Canaries - Villa are, historically, a huge club, but that guarantees them nothing. It's an expensive place to be, plus Villa have questions over a number of players - Tyrone Mings, Axel Tuanzebe, Tammy Abraham, Anwar El Ghazi and Kortney Hause - who were all on loan last season. Promotion is likely to ensure midfielder Jack Grealish remains at Villa Park, which will be a bonus - although Manchester United are said to be sniffing.
The stats say almost two-thirds of clubs promoted via the play-offs since 1990 have gone straight back down - 18 of out of 29. Four of the last five play-off winners - QPR, Norwich, Hull and Fulham - have all failed to survive.
HEAD TO HEAD
NW Draws VW
League 21 15 26
League Cup 0 0 5
FA Cup 1 1 1
Total 22 16 32
Last 10 league games
Sunday, May 5, 2019
Aston Villa 1 Norwich 2
Tuesday, October 23, 2018
Norwich 2 Aston Villa 1
Saturday, April 7, 2018
Norwich 3 Aston Villa 1
Saturday, August 19, 2017
Aston Villa 4 Norwich 2
Saturday, April 1, 2017
Aston Villa 2 Norwich 0
Tuuesday, December 13, 2016
Norwich 1 Aston Villa 0
Saturday, February 6, 2016
Aston Villa 2 Norwich 0
Monday, December 28, 2015
Norwich 2 Aston Villa 0
Sunday, March 2, 2014
Aston Villa 4 Norwich 1
Saturday, September 21, 2013
Norwich 0 Aston Villa 1