Norwich City were beaten for the fifth league game in a row as they slumped to a 2-0 defeat against Aston Villa on Saturday.
Alex Neil made four changes to the side that were beaten by Spurs as he continues to tinker with the team.
Martin was back in for Pinto at right back, Brady at left back, O’Neil in for the suspended Alex Tettey and Wes Hoolahan played on the left wing (I know).
City started off the livelier but it was soon apparent that this would be an open game between two teams short on confidence and both full of nerves.
Seb Bassong saw a diving header bounce down and over Mark Bunn’s cross bar when a goal seemed certain and Mbokani stung Bunn’s hands with a shot from twenty yards in the first half hour. Naismith also dragged an effort wide.
Villa finally had their first effort on target in a dire first half and the game’s first goal when Joleon Lescott scored from a free kick on the stroke of half time.
Mbbokani gave away a needless free kick which Carles Gil then lifted towards the back post. Lescott outmuscled his marker (Mbokani) and his header went in via two deflections. A very poor goal and a rotten time to concede it.
City were two behind on 51 minutes when Declan Rudd sprinted out to try to get to the ball before Agbonlahor, when he didn’t need to. Being quick off his line has worked for Declan more than once this season but he got this decision wrong as it allowed Agbonlahor to simply clip the ball past him and into the net.
It could’ve been worse when Bacuna volleyed wide when well placed but Alex Neil was spurred into life and introduced Patrick Bamford and Nathan Redmond for Hoolahan and Mulumbu.
Norwich desperately looked for a way back into the game with O’Neil wasting a great chance in the Villa box before Bamford couldn’t quite get on the end of Redmond’s cross.
Bacuna then had another chance for glory but blazed well over when well placed in the City area.
Norwich then had two late chances cleared off the line in quick succession. First, Martin’s header was cleared away by Okare after Mark Bunn failed to deal with a high ball. Mbokani’s header was then blocked on the line by Gil from the resulting corner.
City couldn’t get the goal they needed as the clock ran down. Mbokani had another effort cleared off the line and saw his follow up blocked by some determined bodies thrown in the way. Okore then made a goal saving block when he stopped Bamford’s close range shot in injury time.
This was a hammer blow of a defeat for Norwich, what with other results going against us. The Canaries now sit in the bottom three with their manager questioning whether or not his side have the balls for the fight.