Aston Villa’s miserable season continued on Monday as they fell to a 2-0 defeat to Norwich City at Carrow Road thanks to goals from Jonny Howson and Dieumerci Mbokani.
Howson played a starring role for his side and would have done enough to deserve the Man of the Match award as the 27-year-old produced a smart finish to hammer home past Brad Guzan as the hosts importantly took the lead to put the pressure on Remi Garde’s men.
Villa pushed forward in search of an equaliser thereafter, but there was no way through a stubborn defensive line from the Canaries as they held on to secure three crucial points in their bid to avoid relegation.
The victory moves Alex Neil’s side three points away from the bottom three, while in turn it opened up a 12-point gap between themselves and bottom-placed Villa who have it all to do in the second half of the season to avoid dropping down to the Championship.
Both Howson and Nathan Redmond were a handful down the Norwich flanks as the pair caused the Villa defence problems throughout the game, and in turn that leaves the visitors facing a bleak New Year in their bid to avoid the drop.
Garde had suggested last week that his side needed 10 wins from their remaining 21 fixtures, but with time slowly running out, it appears as though they are merely moving closer to the brink of being relegated.
Norwich: Rudd 6; Brady 7, Bassong 7, Bennett 6, Martin 6, Redmond 8, Dorrans 6, Tettey 6, Howson 8, Hoolahan 7, Mbokani 8.
Aston Villa: Guzan 5, Richardson 6, Clark 6, Richards 7, Hutton 5, Ayew, 6, Westwood 6, Gueye 6, Traore 6, Grealish 5, Gestede 6.