Norwich City v Aston Villa – Football Match Report – December 15, 2021
A superb individual effort from midfielder Jacob Ramsey and a late goal from Ollie Watkins helped Aston Villa win 2-0 at bottom side Norwich City on Tuesday, as home manager Dean Smith took suffered a loss to his former club.
Smith took over at Norwich after parting ways with Villa last month and the visitors, now led by ex-Liverpool midfielder Steven Gerrard, missed several chances to win by a bigger margin.
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Gerrard, who celebrated his fourth win in six games for Villa after taking over from Smith, praised Ramsey’s performance and goal.
“I thought we were in control of a lot of this game – we were tough to face and we looked really dangerous,” Gerrard told BT Sport.
“As a midfielder you can only applaud that kind of play and then to unleash a shot like this he should be in the hunt for the goal of the month.”
Ramsey said he took a leaf from Gerrard’s book when he opened the scoring.
“I watched clips of the gaffer and he was one of the best scoring midfielders and that’s what I want to be,” he said.
“I saw Ollie drop him, there was no one there so I thought ‘why not?’ It was a big win, Norwich were a good team, especially in the second half. “
Norwich looked toothless and their goalkeeper Tim Krul knocked down a long-range effort from John McGinn before Ramsey beat him in the 34th minute with a top-quality goal.
Ramsey took a Watkins pass in his stride down the halfway line and after pulling away from several markers with a meteoric run, he unleashed an unstoppable shot into the top corner from the edge of the zone.
Krul kept a Watkins header at close range at the far post with a reflex stop in the 55th minute but was helpless in the 87th, when the Villa forward was left with a simple tap-in after a good job from the substitute Carney Chukwuemeka.
The result lifted Villa to ninth place in the table with 22 points in 17 games while Norwich remained anchored at the bottom with 10 points.
Smith conceded he faced a tall order to keep Norwich in the top flight, but remained hopeful he could pull it off.
“If it was an impossible job, I wouldn’t have accepted it,” he said. “We had a few performances here, but this was the first time we were below par.”