May 4, 2013 at 3pm UK at ​Carrow Road
NorwichNorwich City
1-2
Aston Villa
Holt (74' pen.)
Johnson (59'), Bennett (90')
FT(HT: 0-0)
Agbonlahor (55', 89')
Bennett (17'), Delph (54'), Benteke (68')

Match Analysis: Norwich City 1-2 Aston Villa

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert acknowledges the crowd after the match against Norwich on May 4, 2013
© PA Photos
Sports Mole casts its eye over a crucial win for Aston Villa over Norwich in the Premier League.

Aston Villa reached 40 points in the Premier League by stealing a win late on at Norwich City this afternoon.

After a goalless first half, Gabriel Agbolahor fizzed the visitors in front 10 minutes into the second 45 minutes before Grant Holt levelled from the penalty spot.

Agbonlahor won the match with just a minute left of normal time as Paul Lambert had a successful return to Carrow Road.

Here, Sports Mole pores over an end-to-end game in sun-soaked Norwich.

Match statistics:

Norwich:
Shots 9
On target 4
Possession 57%
Corners 16
Fouls 5

Villa:
Shots 12
On target 6
Possession 43%
Corners 5
Fouls 13

Was the result fair?

Just about, yes. Norwich may have seen more of the ball but the counter-attacking ability of Villa was in tip-top shape today. The trio of Agbonlahor, Christian Benteke and Andreas Weimann regularly streaked clear and caused the hosts' defence all sorts of problems.

Norwich's performance

It was a bit of a gridlocked first half, with both sides struggling to create any real chances. The match really opened up in the second half, though, and Villa were the ones who took the game by the scruff of the neck. Hughton realised things weren't going right and brought on Kei Kamara to support Holt up front and it worked a treat as, minutes later, the home side were level. They then went on to look more threatening for a brief period but they couldn't contend with the pace of Agbonlahor and they're now right in the thick of relegation trouble once more.

Villa's performance

Let's just forget the opening period. In the second half Villa were far, far better. Benteke almost scored within a minute of kick off and soon they had their goal as Agbonlahor rifled into the net. Defensively they dipped a little to allow Norwich back into it but they were a constant threat on the break and won the match thanks to Ashley Westwood's incisive pass and Agbonlahor's crisp finish.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Gabriel Agbonlahor: It would be easy to automatically give Agbonlahor this award for his two goals but he has been playing much, much better lately and his two goals today were finishes of the highest quality. The way he links up with Benteke in particular will please Lambert greatly.

Biggest gaffe

We're going to give this award to Weimann for his miss from two yards in the second half. Yes, the Austrian was on the stretch, but he was in the middle of the goal and right under the crossbar and somehow volleyed it over.

Referee performance

Kevin Friend did a solid job with the whistle today, rightly awarding Norwich their penalty when Joe Bennett bundled over Robert Snodgrass.

What next?

Norwich: The Canaries next welcome West Brom to Carrow Road before an imposing last-day trip to last year's champions Manchester City.

Villa: Next up for Lambert's men is a visit of Chelsea before they travel to Wigan on the final day.

Aston Villa's Gabriel Agbonlahor celebrates after scoring against Norwich on May 4, 2013
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