Aston Villa reached their second League Cup semi-final in four years by beating Norwich City and in turn handed boss Paul Lambert victory on his first visit back to his former club.

Steve Morison gave Norwich the lead by clipping over Shay Given before Brett Holman's drive levelled matters.

Both sides had a number of chances to take the lead in a frenetic tie.

But substitute Andreas Weimann's late double and a tidy Christian Benteke strike saw Villa through.

Lambert's return to Norwich, the club he left to join Villa, provoked little anger from the Carrow Road faithful, who most likely still hold the Scot's feat of back-to-back promotions in higher regard than the fact he walked away from the club in the summer.

Off the pitch the disagreement between the sides over Lambert's switch to Villa Park will be decided by a tribunal in January.

But on it, it was not until the final 10 minutes that the teams could be separated, when the predatory instincts of Weimann and Benteke's fine finish settled a pulsating game

"There was a nice touch from Paul Lambert at the end, who came onto the pitch and shook all the Norwich players' hands. You've got to give the man respect - he's come back to his old club and got a fantastic result on the night. For such a young team you can see signs of confidence at Aston Villa, and tonight they passed the ball well and created chances, which they finished off. This will do Villa a lot of good."

The opening pace was frantic and showed little sign of slowing, with Morison's cross striking a Villa post and Darren Bent, making his first start for six weeks, failing to beat Mark Bunn when one-on-one.

But Morison had his side in front when pouncing on to Nathan Baker's misjudged header and poking past Given.

Merely seconds had passed before Holman levelled, collecting the ball after Sebastien Bassong and Benteke had challenged for it in the air and hitting a firm shot from the edge of the area past Bunn.

The Canaries keeper was in a determined mood, however, denying Matthew Lowton, Benteke and Holman with sharp saves.

Morison could and should have at least quadrupled his tally, missing a host of opportunities, most notably when he was released by Anthony Pilkington in the second half and lobbed over the bar.

When he finally found the net again his celebration was cut short by an offside flag - as was Benteke's moments later at the other end following good work by Weimann, who had replaced the injured Bent at half-time.

And the young Austrian justified Lambert's decision to bring him on when he completed the turnaround for Villa, slotting home from Eric Lichaj's low cross with 10 minutes remaining.

He added his second when Benteke was rewarded for tireless work down the left channel, laying on a simple tap in for his strike partner.

And Benteke's crisp strike eased Villa into the semi-finals of a competition they have won five times, the most recent coming in 1996, and will give them a chance to make amends for their defeat by Manchester United in the 2010 final.

Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert: "I thought the whole game we were excellent.

"We've been playing like that since the Sunderland game [a 1-0 win on 3 November] and maybe haven't got the results we might have got."

Lambert on Benteke's 10th goal of the season: "I think it's a lot to burden somebody with goals. But Benteke, you run out of things to say about the guy, how well he's performing and how young he is.

"He more than holds his own in the team Belgium have got at the moment. What he does in the Belgium team he seems to bring here."

Norwich boss Chris Hughton: "There were pivotal moments. At 1-0 we should have held on to that lead for longer and then we have a great chance very early in the second half. If that goes in then possibly it's a different story.

"I certainly couldn't fault the endeavours of the players. It became a typical end to end cup tie.

"But in the clinical areas that mattered they obviously showed more than us."

Lineup, Bookings (0) & Substitutions (4)

Norwich City

  • 28 Bunn
  • 02 R Martin
  • 05 Bassong
  • 20 Barnett
  • 23 Tierney
  • 04 Johnson
  • 07 Snodgrass
  • 08 Howson (E Bennett - 87' )
  • 12 Pilkington
  • 09 Holt
  • 16 Morison (Jackson - 80' )

Substitutes

  • 13 Rudd
  • 06 Turner
  • 18 Garrido
  • 33 Francomb
  • 15 Fox
  • 17 E Bennett
  • 10 Jackson

Aston Villa

  • 01 Given
  • 06 Clark
  • 30 Lichaj
  • 32 Baker
  • 34 Lowton
  • 08 El Ahmadi
  • 16 Delph
  • 31 Herd
  • 09 Bent (Weimann - 35' )
  • 14 Holman (N'Zogbia - 73' )
  • 20 Benteke

Substitutes

  • 22 Guzan
  • 37 Williams
  • 10 N'Zogbia
  • 12 Albrighton
  • 25 Bannan
  • 11 Agbonlahor
  • 26 Weimann
Ref: Oliver
Att: 26,142

Match Stats

Shots

9 17

On target

5 13

Corners

7 5

Fouls

7 7

Live Text Commentary

90:00 +3:02 Full time

Full Time The referee signals the end of the game.

90:00 +2:30

Christian Benteke challenges Marc Tierney unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick taken by Mark Bunn.

90:00 +1:34

Inswinging corner taken from the right by-line by Robert Snodgrass, Leon Barnett takes a shot. Save by Shay Given.

90:00 +0:29

Assist on the goal came from Eric Lichaj.

90:00 +0:29 Goal scored

Goal! - Christian Benteke - Norwich 1 - 4 A Villa A goal is scored by Christian Benteke from just outside the penalty box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Norwich 1-4 Aston Villa.

89:19

Charles N'Zogbia takes a short corner.

89:10

The ball is sent over by Andreas Weimann, clearance made by Leon Barnett.

88:01

A cross is delivered by Elliott Bennett, Nathan Baker manages to make a clearance.

87:20

Centre by Robert Snodgrass, clearance by Ciaran Clark.

85:58 Substitution

Substitution Elliott Bennett comes on in place of Jonathan Howson.

85:58

The ball is sent over by Jonathan Howson, Anthony Pilkington produces a left-footed shot from deep inside the penalty area which goes wide of the right-hand post.

85:34

Robert Snodgrass fouled by Charles N'Zogbia, the ref awards a free kick. Grant Holt takes the direct free kick.

84:19

The assist for the goal came from Christian Benteke.

84:19 Goal scored

Goal! - Andreas Weimann - Norwich 1 - 3 A Villa Andreas Weimann finds the net with a goal from inside the box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Norwich 1-3 Aston Villa.

83:45

Outswinging corner taken from the left by-line by Charles N'Zogbia, clearance by Sebastien Bassong.

83:33

Charles N'Zogbia delivers the ball, Simeon Jackson makes a clearance.

81:40

Grant Holt is penalised for a handball. Shay Given takes the indirect free kick.

80:16

A cross is delivered by Jonathan Howson.

79:53 Substitution

Substitution (Norwich) makes a substitution, with Simeon Jackson coming on for Steve Morison.

78:35

The assist for the goal came from Charles N'Zogbia.

78:35 Goal scored

Goal! - Andreas Weimann - Norwich 1 - 2 A Villa A goal is scored by Andreas Weimann from inside the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Norwich 1-2 Aston Villa.

77:30

Unfair challenge on Grant Holt by Chris Herd results in a free kick. Free kick crossed by Bradley Johnson.

76:31

Corner taken by Robert Snodgrass.

75:35

The ball is crossed by Russell Martin, clearance by Matthew Lowton. Robert Snodgrass takes the inswinging corner, Grant Holt takes a shot. Save made by Shay Given.

74:59

Inswinging corner taken by Eric Lichaj from the right by-line, Sebastien Bassong manages to make a clearance.

74:39

Karim El Ahmadi takes a shot. Jonathan Howson makes a clearance.

74:01

The ball is swung over by Fabian Delph, clearance by Sebastien Bassong.

72:10 Substitution

Substitution Brett Holman leaves the field to be replaced by Charles N'Zogbia.

71:54

The ball is delivered by Russell Martin, Christian Benteke makes a clearance.

71:22

Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Robert Snodgrass from the right by-line to the near post, clearance by Fabian Delph.

71:15

Robert Snodgrass crosses the ball, Chris Herd manages to make a clearance.

70:55

The assistant referee flags for offside against Andreas Weimann. Leon Barnett restarts play with the free kick.

69:06

Eric Lichaj takes a shot. Leon Barnett gets a block in.

65:32

A cross is delivered by Robert Snodgrass, save made by Shay Given.

64:58

Jonathan Howson fouled by Christian Benteke, the ref awards a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Mark Bunn.

63:41

Foul by Fabian Delph on Jonathan Howson, free kick awarded. Robert Snodgrass has an effort direct from the free kick, save by Shay Given.

63:00

The assistant referee flags for offside against Andreas Weimann. Mark Bunn takes the indirect free kick.

62:13

Eric Lichaj takes a shot. Blocked by Russell Martin.

61:07

Effort from the edge of the box by Eric Lichaj goes wide of the left-hand upright.

59:40

Grant Holt challenges Chris Herd unfairly and gives away a free kick. Shay Given takes the direct free kick.

56:30

Centre by Eric Lichaj, clearance by Marc Tierney.

55:31

Long range shot from Grant Holt misses to the left of the goal.

53:07

Brett Holman produces a right-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.

51:01

The assistant referee flags for offside against Christian Benteke. Mark Bunn takes the free kick.

49:44

The offside flag is raised against Steve Morison. Ciaran Clark takes the indirect free kick.

48:50

Effort on goal by Steve Morison from just outside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the target.

48:05

Robert Snodgrass delivers the ball, Headed effort from deep inside the penalty area by Steve Morison goes harmlessly over the crossbar.

45:41

Foul by Grant Holt on Matthew Lowton, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Shay Given.

45:01

The referee gets the second half started.

45:00 +3:07 Half time

Half Time The referee calls an end to the first half.

44:09

Anthony Pilkington produces a cross, clearance made by Nathan Baker.

43:25

Steve Morison takes a shot. Save made by Shay Given. Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Anthony Pilkington from the left by-line, clearance by Christian Benteke.

43:11

The ball is swung over by Matthew Lowton, clearance made by Russell Martin.

42:35

Unfair challenge on Eric Lichaj by Robert Snodgrass results in a free kick. Karim El Ahmadi crosses the ball from the free kick right-footed from left channel, clearance by Grant Holt.

42:17

Brett Holman takes a shot. Save by Mark Bunn.

41:39

Eric Lichaj sends in a cross, clearance by Bradley Johnson.

40:39

Foul by Grant Holt on Fabian Delph, free kick awarded. Shay Given restarts play with the free kick.

38:40

Foul by Grant Holt on Chris Herd, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Karim El Ahmadi.

38:07

The referee penalises Bradley Johnson for handball. Karim El Ahmadi takes the free kick.

36:20

Free kick awarded for a foul by Jonathan Howson on Fabian Delph. Fabian Delph takes the free kick.

34:38 Substitution

Substitution Darren Bent leaves the field to be replaced by Andreas Weimann.

33:02

Eric Lichaj produces a cross, save made by Mark Bunn.

31:28

Robert Snodgrass sends in a cross.

31:07

Centre by Steve Morison, Nathan Baker manages to make a clearance.

29:34

Shot from long range by Fabian Delph goes wide of the left-hand upright.

28:23

The ball is sent over by Steve Morison, clearance made by Chris Herd.

27:10

Robert Snodgrass crosses the ball, Ciaran Clark manages to make a clearance.

25:13

Darren Bent takes a shot. Save made by Mark Bunn.

24:54

Christian Benteke takes a shot. Save by Mark Bunn.

24:30

Matthew Lowton takes a shot. Save made by Mark Bunn.

23:21

Matthew Lowton is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Mark Bunn restarts play with the free kick.

23:10

Matthew Lowton crosses the ball.

22:12

Foul by Robert Snodgrass on Fabian Delph, free kick awarded. Direct free kick taken by Fabian Delph.

21:49

Chris Herd concedes a free kick for a foul on Steve Morison. Free kick taken by Bradley Johnson.

20:14

Christian Benteke provided the assist for the goal.

20:14 Goal scored

Goal! - Brett Holman - Norwich 1 - 1 A Villa Brett Holman finds the net with a goal from the edge of the area to the bottom left corner of the goal. Norwich 1-1 Aston Villa.

18:59

Assist by Grant Holt.

18:59 Goal scored

Goal! - Steve Morison - Norwich 1 - 0 A Villa Steve Morison finds the net with a goal from the edge of the penalty area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Norwich 1-0 Aston Villa.

17:56

Corner taken right-footed by Brett Holman from the left by-line, Ciaran Clark has an effort at goal from 12 yards. Mark Bunn makes a save.

17:34

The assistant referee flags for offside against Anthony Pilkington. Chris Herd restarts play with the free kick.

17:13

Karim El Ahmadi sends in a cross, clearance made by Russell Martin.

16:59

Centre by Fabian Delph, Leon Barnett makes a clearance.

16:02

Fabian Delph concedes a free kick for a foul on Robert Snodgrass. Free kick crossed left-footed by Robert Snodgrass, comfortable save by Shay Given.

11:06

Corner taken by Brett Holman, Anthony Pilkington manages to make a clearance.

10:47

Fabian Delph takes a shot. Clearance by Leon Barnett.

9:22

Corner taken by Robert Snodgrass, clearance made by Shay Given.

9:03

Inswinging corner taken by Robert Snodgrass from the right by-line played to the near post, Darren Bent makes a clearance.

8:46

Steve Morison sends in a cross. Russell Martin produces a cross, Chris Herd makes a clearance.

8:17

The ball is crossed by Brett Holman, save by Mark Bunn.

1:54

Darren Bent takes a shot. Save made by Mark Bunn.

0:44

The ball is swung over by Grant Holt, Chris Herd manages to make a clearance.

0:00

The game begins.

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