Aston Villa and the inevitable journey

Villa win at Norwich and Dave Woodhall comments.

In this uncertain world it’s always good to know that some things never change. Villa beat Norwich; it’s the law. The ravens will leave the tower before Villa don’t do the double over Norwich.

Selling out a trip like this midweek a few days before Christmas is another sign of the potential that’s just waiting to be tapped and this performance was another giant stride towards the ultimate goal. Norwich might be relegated already, but they stil had to be beaten and plenty of Villa sides have strugged on such occasions.

To be able to get the points with such little fuss bodes well for the future. Both sides were suffering from injry and illness. Norwich had nine out, which made it a rare occasion when the opposition were suffering more than us, with a couple of Covid casualties and Marvelous Nakamba the latest recipient of the Great Aston Villa Injury Curse. They’d tried to get thegame called off, but neither of the teams are called Manchester United, so on it went regardless.

Which meant that the team had to put aside all uncertainties and get on with the job, which they did from the off. John McGinn had a long-range shot tippd over the bar before Jacob Ramsey’s solo goal with a run that started inside his own half put Villa into the lead and showed yet again that the Bodymoor Academy is a production line to cherish. Villa were well on top and could easily have added a couple more either side of the break.

Ollie Watkins missed perhaps the easiest chance when his header from inside the six yard box was kept out by the keeper although it rarely looked like a costly miss because Villa were well able to cope with anything Norwich could offer. Their manager got the reception he deserevd from the Villa support but that was all he and his team were ever likely to take from the game. Carney Chukwuemeka came on to replace a tiring Emiliano Buendia and got behind the Norwich defence with three minuets left to provide Watkins with a tap-in to make sure of the points. A record signing replaced by an Academy graduate; there can’t be many better signs that all’s well.

The win moves Villa up to ninth in the table, and even if a place in the top half is only temporary it shows that we can turn lesser sides over with an ease that seemed a long way off a few weeks ago. It wasn’t a spectacular performance but it didn’t have to be. Ultimately, the hardest part of the evening was getting there. We did more than enough to beat the opposition with the minimum of effort, and that’s all that counts.