Championship
Aston VillaAston Villa4NorwichNorwich City2
By Ged ScottBBC Sport at Villa Park
Conor Hourihane
Conor Hourihane has scored four goals in his last two games for Aston Villa this season

Aston Villa made light of their early-season wobbles as they deservedly beat Norwich City to claim their first Championship win of the season.

Midfielder Conor Hourihane made the main headlines with a hat-trick.

But teenagers Keinan Davis, who set up Hourihane's opener on his first EFL start, and Andre Green, who curled in a second for the hosts, both shone.

Josh Murphy and sub Nelson Oliveira each reduced the arrears after the break but, each time, Hourihane struck.

Villa's first four-goal haul since winning 4-0 at Sunderland in March 2015 was only their second league victory in nine matches, going back to last season, and the first time they have scored four at home since their 4-3 win over West Bromwich Albion in January 2014.

Hourihane's hat-trick was Villa's first in the league since Christian Benteke's three-goal haul against QPR in April 2015.

Meanwhile, Norwich are without a league win at Villa Park since a 3-2 win in November 1992.

Davis might have scored in the very first minute when he was thwarted by Norwich keeper Angus Gunn who then dived to save his powerful header. And, after setting up Hourihane's first goal, the teenager was this time denied when his cute lob came back off the bar.

There was even better to come for Steve Bruce's side just before the break when boyhood Villa fan Green, also just 19 years old, netted his first goal for the club with a superb right-foot curler.

There could have been others too. Ahmed Elmohamady just failed to get on the end of Hourihane's cross, while James Chester should have done better with a close-range header at the start of the second half.

Those missed chances looked costly when Norwich pulled one back on the hour mark through the tricky, pacy Murphy.

Eight minutes later, Hourihane's hopeful right-foot 25-yard strike took a deflection before nestling in Gunn's top-left corner and, although the mood again became fraught when Oliveira scored just five minutes after coming off the bench, Hourihane had the final word.

Having been in the right place at the far post to drill home Davis's low right-wing cross for the first, this time he was a lot further out when he again found the top corner to complete the scoring five minutes from time. And there was still time to miss out on a fifth goal when Green was denied only by the bar.

Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce told BBC WM:

"We've had a difficult week, results-wise. But we were close to blowing Hull away in the first game and we were very close to blowing these away.

"It just shows you how quickly this club can lurch into a crisis, after a week. What has been going around is nonsense. I've got the nucleus of a decent team.

"We're young. And thankfully, under pressure, they've performed really well. We could have scored another four, if truth be known. And to get a hat-trick from a midfield player is terrific."

Norwich City manager Daniel Farke:

"The reason we lost was the first half. We made some silly and easy mistakes. We have to improve in the areas that we can influence.

"With having a third game in six days, we knew it would be a hard struggle but we didn't play well enough in the first half.

"We were very bad and Villa deserved to be in the lead at half-time.We knew they would be aggressive and motivated. It was almost a do-or-die game for them so early in the season."

Line-ups

Aston Villa

  • 1Johnstone
  • 21HuttonBooked at 58minsSubstituted forBreeat 64'minutes
  • 5Chester
  • 26Terry
  • 3Taylor
  • 27El Mohamady
  • 6Whelan
  • 14Hourihane
  • 19Green
  • 18OnomahSubstituted forLansburyat 30'minutes
  • 39DavisSubstituted forSambaat 87'minutes

Substitutes

  • 4Samba
  • 8Lansbury
  • 9Hogan
  • 13Steer
  • 16Bree
  • 20Bjarnason
  • 37Adomah

Norwich

  • 1Gunn
  • 5Martin
  • 6Zimmermann
  • 28Franke
  • 3HusbandBooked at 78minsSubstituted forWildschutat 86'minutes
  • 4Reed
  • 18Stiepermann
  • 7NaismithSubstituted forHoolahanat 73'minutes
  • 8Vrancic
  • 11MurphyBooked at 36mins
  • 10JeromeSubstituted forOliveiraat 74'minutesBooked at 86mins

Substitutes

  • 9Oliveira
  • 12Watkins
  • 14Hoolahan
  • 17Wildschut
  • 23Maddison
  • 27Tettey
  • 33McGovern
Referee:
Jeremy Simpson
Attendance:
29,157

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamNorwich
Possession
Home37%
Away63%
Shots
Home20
Away9
Shots on Target
Home8
Away3
Corners
Home3
Away3
Fouls
Home14
Away11

Live Text

  1. Post update

    Match ends, Aston Villa 4, Norwich City 2.

  2. Full Time

    Second Half ends, Aston Villa 4, Norwich City 2.

  3. Post update

    Josh Murphy (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  4. Post update

    Foul by Christopher Samba (Aston Villa).

  5. Post update

    Attempt saved. Andre Green (Aston Villa) header from very close range is saved in the bottom right corner.

  6. Post update

    Ahmed Elmohamady (Aston Villa) hits the bar with a right footed shot from the right side of the box. Assisted by James Bree.

  7. Post update

    Harrison Reed (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  8. Post update

    Foul by Henri Lansbury (Aston Villa).

  9. Post update

    Foul by Marco Stiepermann (Norwich City).

  10. Post update

    Henri Lansbury (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the right wing.

  11. Post update

    Attempt blocked. Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ahmed Elmohamady.

  12. Post update

    Foul by Harrison Reed (Norwich City).

  13. Post update

    Glenn Whelan (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

  14. Substitution

    Substitution, Aston Villa. Christopher Samba replaces Keinan Davis.

  15. Booking

    Nélson Oliveira (Norwich City) is shown the yellow card.

  16. Substitution

    Substitution, Norwich City. Yanic Wildschut replaces James Husband.

  17. Goal!

    Goal! Aston Villa 4, Norwich City 2. Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Ahmed Elmohamady.

  18. Post update

    Foul by Marco Stiepermann (Norwich City).

  19. Post update

    Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

  20. Post update

    Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by James Bree.

Top Stories

Explore the BBC