Aston Villa 2-0 Norwich: Player ratings as limp Canaries are relegated

30 April 2022 07:14

Goals from Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings earned Aston Villa a comfortable 2-0 win over Norwich at Villa Park - a result that relegates Dean Smith's side after Burnley beat Watford at Vicarage Road.

Watkins collected a raking ball from Ings after Brandon Williams' inopportune slip to open the scoring five minutes before the break, slamming home into the roof of Tim Krul's net via a slight deflection.

The result was put beyond doubt in stoppage time when Ings got himself back onside to swivel and fire into the corner - Krul having kept out Jacob Ramsey's shot from a tight angle moments before.

It was a deserved victory for Villa, who in truth didn't ever need to get out of second gear. Steven Gerrard's side were the better team, though both goalkeepers were tested, and they had more pace and urgency about their play throughout the game.

Krul's excellent save from Leon Bailey kept the scores level in the first 20 minutes before Emiliano Martinez made a cracking save of his own - tipping Milot Rashica's fizzing drive over the crossbar.

The deadlock was broken by Watkins after he latched onto substitute Ings' long ball, and he profited from Williams' slip to score his ninth goal of the season.

Clear-cut chances were at a premium thereafter, with the game finally put to bed by Ings in injury-time - just his seventh goal of another injury-hit campaign.


Aston Villa vs Norwich player ratings

1. Aston Villa (4-3-3)

Gerrard's Villa were on top for the most part | James Williamson - AMA/GettyImages

GK: Emiliano Martinez - 6/10 - Made an excellent save with the scores level, tipping Rashica's blazing effort over the bar. Good handling overall.

RB: Matty Cash - 6/10 - Not as involved as Villa may have liked - occasionally beaten on the outside by the pacy Rashica.

RCB: Calum Chambers - 6/10 - Nullified the threat of Pukki for large periods of the game.

LCB: Tyrone Mings - 6/10 - Led the backline with confidence and authority. Not overly challenged mind you.

LB: Lucas Digne - 7/10 - Put a couple of terrific crosses into the penalty area.

RCM: John McGinn - 6/10 - Usual effervescent self as Villa gradually took control of the game.

CM: Tim Iroegbunam - 6/10 - A steady full debut that will have pleased Steven Gerrard. However, a little overzealous at times and deservedly booked.

LCM: Jacob Ramsey - 6/10 - Full of energy in the box-to-box midfielder role. Lacked quality with his final ball at times.

RF: Leon Bailey - 5/10 - Forced Krul into a tremendous save before hobbling off before half-time. Can't catch a break with injuries which is hugely frustrating.

CF: Ollie Watkins - 8/10 - Rifled his ninth goal of the season past Krul with tremendous power and a slight deflection. Worked hard all afternoon and linked up well with Ings

LF: Philippe Coutinho - 7/10 - Plenty of clever disguised passes and moments of quality. Finds space with ease.

SUB: Danny Ings (39' for Bailey) - 8/10 - Instant impact with a wonderful long ball to Watkins. Bright and eager to prove a point it seemed, notching a well-deserved goal in stoppage time.

SUB: Douglas Luiz (73' for Iroegbunam) - 5/10 - Helped Villa close the game out with ease.

SUB: Emiliano Buendia (76' for Coutinho) - N/A

*Subs not used: Olsen (GK), Konsa, Chukwuemeka, Nakamba, Traore, Young


2. Norwich (4-2-3-1)

Brandon Williams slipped to allow Watkins through to score | Ryan Pierse/GettyImages

GK: Tim Krul - 6/10 - Smart save from Bailey's cracking first half effort, could do nothing with Watkins' goal.

RB: Max Aarons - 5/10 - Didn't stamp his authority on the game at all. A little bewildering he was once linked with so many big clubs.

RCB: Grant Hanley - 5/10 - Found it difficult to cope with the movement of Watkins, Ings and Coutinho. Not awful.

LCB: Sam Byram - 6/10 - Not Byram's natural position by any stretch of the imagination but he did okay.

LB: Brandon Williams - 5/10 - Unfortunate to slip at the worst possible moment for Norwich, allowing Watkins to fire home the opener.

DM: Billy Gilmour - 5/10 - Isn't able to showcase his ability in what is a timid Norwich side at this level.

DM: Mathias Normann - 4/10 - Gave the ball away too often in midfield and drifted into obscurity.

RM: Kieran Dowell - 4/10 - Not involved anywhere near enough, particularly as Norwich disappeared in the early stages of the second half.

AM: Pierre Lees-Melou - 4/10 - Has a bit about him but must produce more. Hooked just past the hour.

LM: Milot Rashica - 6/10 - Started the game brightly and forced a brilliant save from Martinez. Looked capable of making things happen.

CF: Teemu Pukki - 5/10 - Always an outlet for Norwich but starved of any quality service.

SUB: Josh Sargent (67' for Lees-Melou) - N/A - Restricted to a 14-minute cameo before hobbling off.

SUB: Jonathan Rowe (78' for Rashica) - N/A

SUB: Lukas Rupp (81' for Sargent) - N/A

*Subs not used: Gunn, Gibson, Placheta, Sorensen, Giannoulis, Tzolis


Player of the Match: Ollie Watkins

Source: 90min