Aston Villa secured a 2-0 win over Norwich City on Saturday, with Ollie Watkins and Danny Ings getting on the scoresheet.
Villa secured a much-needed result last weekend at Leicester City, and the hope was that the draw at the King Power Stadium would help build some confidence and belief back in the side.
While this was far from a complete or entirely convincing display, it was another clean sheet and three important points as we look to build momentum and string some positive results together to end the Premier League campaign.
Naturally, there will be areas that need to improve in the remaining games, but ultimately it’s an important win to move away from the sides below us, and give us a big chance to kick on and finish in the top half of the table.
Aston Villa player ratings vs Norwich City:
Emiliano Martinez, 7 – Was protected well by his teammates as Norwich weren’t allowed too many opportunities, but he was alert and on hand to produce some key saves including one stand-out stop in the first half to deny Rashica. 11 clean sheets for the season now.
Matty Cash, 6.5 – A battling display but didn’t have as much of an influence going forward as he can, but nonetheless, a good shift defensively.
Calum Chambers, 7 – Given a chance ahead of Konsa and produced a solid performance. Kept Pukki quiet and was assured in possession to help us build out from the back.
Tyrone Mings, 7.5 – Similarly to his defensive partner, they both did a good job of limiting Pukki’s involvement and kept things tight at the back to help us secure a clean sheet.
Lucas Digne, 6.5 – A welcome surprise to see him named in the starting XI after injury, and although he was inaccurate at times with his delivery into the box, he got forward, caused Norwich problems and continued to probe for an opening.
John McGinn, 6.5 – Put in a good shift for the team as he always does, but his influence was perhaps a little limited from an attacking perspective when Villa could have benefitted from more quality from him.
Tim Iroegbunam, 7 – Given his full debut and didn’t disappoint. Put himself about well, got stuck into the midfield battle and provided good protection for the backline. Also moved the ball quickly forward to show composure in possession, and while he did get caught of position at times, it was a big learning experience for him that will be crucial in his development.
Jacob Ramsey, 6.5 – Similar to McGinn but perhaps a little more impactful with his driving runs forward, Villa need more penetration and threat from him as he certainly has the quality to produce more.
Leon Bailey, 5 – Disappointing to see him go off early with an injury as he tries to find some form. Produced one top effort which was tipped onto the crossbar, but couldn’t quite get going other than that.
Philippe Coutinho, 5.5 – Another quiet game for the Brazilian as although he continued to search for space to make something happen, it didn’t quite happen for him. That’s now six games without a goal or assist which is a concern.
Ollie Watkins, 8.5 – A top performance as he pressured and pressed well out of possession, and produced real quality to break the deadlock. Did well to create the opening for himself, and then produced a great finish. His work-rate and sacrifice for the team is so important.
Danny Ings, 8 – A brilliant effort coming off the bench. Produced the key ball over the top to set Watkins away for his opener, and was otherwise a threat to Norwich which included a header that hit the post.
Douglas Luiz, 5.5 – Kept things tidy and ticking over in midfield in the latter stages.
Emiliano Buendia, 7 – Made an instant impact as he provided a spark in the final third with his movement and eye for a pass. Pulled the strings late on, and he’ll certainly be hopeful that with neither Coutinho or Bailey producing, he’ll get a chance to play a more significant role at Burnley next weekend.