Canaries finish with victory

Grant Holt and Simeon Jackson scored as Norwich beat Aston Villa 2-0 at Carrow Road to end their fine Premier League campaign on a high.

Last Updated: 13/05/12 at 17:15 Post Comment

Holt: Celebrates his goal against Villa

Holt: Celebrates his goal against Villa

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

Many had expected Paul Lambert's Canaries to be battling at the wrong end of the table on their first return to the elite for six seasons.

However, a string of industrious displays kept Lambert's hard-working side clear of danger well before this afternoon's final day visit of Villa, who barring a monumental goals swing, were also secure of top-flight status, albeit after what has been an uninspiring campaign under Alex McLeish.

First-half goals from leading scorer Holt and Jackson made for a party atmosphere in the Norfolk sunshine - where the several thousand Villa fans sent a loud and clear message they expected better next season.

It was a strong start by the home side, who had been outclassed in their last two matches here by Manchester City and Liverpool.

After Holt was booked for failing to retreat at a free-kick, the Norwich captain fired the Canaries in front after eight minutes.

James Collins bundled over Simeon Jackson, 25 yards out on the right.

Bradley Johnson floated the resulting free-kick into the Villa box, where Holt got up between two defenders at the far post, the ball cannoning off his shoulder and past Shay Given for a 15th Premier League goal.

Norwich continued to press and Jonny Howson let fly from 20 yards, with Given taking no chances as he turned the shot, which was going wide, around the post at full stretch.

The Villa goalkeeper was then let down by his static defence as Norwich went 2-0 up after 22 minutes.

A long ball forward from right-back Kyle Naughton was headed back across his own six-yard box by Carlos Cuellar, straight into the path of Jackson.

Given was out quickly to make a smart block, but the diminutive Canada striker calmly slotted the rebound into an empty net.

Norwich had a strong shout for a penalty when Jackson's cross hit Cuellar's outstretched arm - but referee Martin Atkinson saw nothing untoward and waved play on.

Villa showed little in way of attacking intent, with Norwich enjoying a spell of possession which just lacked a final telling pass.

Lambert has been touted as a potential candidate should owner Randy Lerner look to make a change at Villa Park during the summer - with both sets of fans chanting the Scotsman's name, one as a sign of appreciation and the other as a message to their board.

The visitors finally sprung to life five minutes before the break as American defender Eric Lichaj strode to the edge of the Norwich penalty area and sent in a low shot which John Ruddy palmed around the post.

Cuellar blocked Howson right on the left corner of the penalty area, with the referee giving a free-kick rather than pointing to the spot, despite replays suggesting the offense took place just inside the line.

Villa made a change for the start of the second half as midfielder Chris Herd was replaced by Barry Bannan, and they quickly had a dominant spell.

Ruddy pushed Emile Heskey's low shot around the post before tipping over Stephen Ireland's 20-yard rising drive.

Norwich, though, were soon back on the offensive themselves, with Jackson stretching the Villa backline.

After 63 minutes, the Canada striker, whose goal at Portsmouth this time last season had secured promotion back up to the top flight, sent a low, 20-yard effort goalwards, which Given turned behind at full stretch.

Villa were unfortunate not to pull a goal back when Gabriel Agbonlahor cut in from the left and his shot was touched on to the inside of the far post by Ruddy, with Russell Martin hacking the loose ball clear.

Norwich were still creating chances at the other end, where substitute Aaron Wilbraham blazed over before winger Elliott Bennett did the same.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Monday, 15 December 2014
20:00
Everton 3-1 QPR Report
Sunday, 14 December 2014
16:00
Swansea 1-2 Tottenham Report
13:30
Man Utd 3-0 Liverpool  
Saturday, 13 December 2014
17:30
Arsenal 4-1 Newcastle Report
15:00
Burnley 1-0 So'ton Report
Chelsea 2-0 Hull City Report
C Palace 1-1 Stoke Report
Leicester 0-1 Man City  
S'land 1-1 West Ham  
W Brom 1-0 A Villa Report

Footer 365

Premier League: Joe Hart agrees long-term contract with Manchester City

Joe Hart has signed a new long-term contract which keeps him at Manchester City until the end of the 2018-19 season.

Premier League: Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert says Manchester United can still win title

Aston Villa boss Paul Lambert believes Saturday's opponents Manchester United can still win the Barclays Premier League.

Premier League: Manuel Pellegrini confident James Milner will sign new deal at Manchester City

Manchester City manager Manuel Pellegrini is confident James Milner will soon sign a new contract with the club.

Mail Box

More Players In The Wrong Bloody Shirt

Plus Cristiano Ronaldo, who looks 'heart-breakingly well-suited to a Real Madrid shirt' according to one United fan. Plus, words from the good doctor and plenty more...

Players Plainly Wearing The Wrong Strip...

There are some players who just look plain daft in whatever shirt they're wearing. Like Cesc and Robin. It's a cracking mailbox with a load of different themes...

© 2014 British Sky Broadcasting Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media property