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At long last: With Norwich draw Villa guarantee their safety

The win yesterday all but guaranteed it, but we've now got confirmation that Villa will be playing top-flight football next year.

Mark Thompson

After yesterday's win against Hull City, Aston Villa had virtually assured their membership in the Premier League next season. However, a combination of absurd events–not the least of which would be Norwich City winning out–could have still seen the club drop. It was a minor quibble, but it was enough to make sure we all had eyes on Norwich-Chelsea today.

And we can all finally exhale, the rest of the season matters for nothing more than positioning. Though we had to wait a bit longer than expected (why is it that Chelsea have so many problems with the minnows of the Premier League?), the final whistle on a goalless draw meant that Norwich cannot possibly catch Villa. It also meant the end of Chelsea's title dreams, but we're focusing on the important thing here. Safety!

Sadly, the result does mean that Villa's year will be a bit more difficult. It's hard to think of a team that the Lions have dominated more regularly than Norwich City. Since they came back to the Premier League, Villa have taken 13 of 18 available points against the Canaries, with the only loss coming before Paul Lambert came to Villa. Today's result almost assures that Norwich will be dropping, so Villa won't have them to kick around any more.

That's alright, though. It's a small price to pay for another year in the Premier League.