Jonathan Kodjia’s heroics continue: his two goals against Norwich on Saturday saw Villa win its third match in a row, as positivity is abound once again among claret and blue faithful.
Norwich put Villa under pressure from the opening whistle. Norwich’s best opportunity on Villa’s goal came in the 10th minute, when Cameron Jerome went past three successive defenders in the Aston Villa penalty box, but was unable to make solid contact with his effort on goal and skewed it wide. Norwich continued to have the better of possession after Jerome’s chance, but Villa grabbed the lead in the 25th minute after Jonathan Kodjia latched onto a Scott Hogan pass and cut in off the righthand side to blast his resounding finish past Norwich goalkeeper Michael McGovern. Scott Hogan left the field of play shortly after assisting Kodjia’s goal, replaced by Jordan Amavi. Sam Johnstone made an important save just before halftime, which enabling Villa to reach the break in front.
Villa showed good energy to start the second half, coming very close to a second goal through Conor Hourihane and Nathan Baker on a goal line scramble, and Jonathan Kodjia from a redirected effort off an Albert Adomah cross. After those chances, however, Villa bunkered down and absorbed wave after wave of Norwich attacks. Despite all Norwich’s pressure, Sam Johnstone wasn’t forced into any substantial saves, and Villa’s task became easier with 10 minutes to play when Norwich’s Ivo Pinto collected a second yellow card and forced Norwich to finish the match with 10 men. Shortly thereafter, a Norwich defense lapse allowed Jonathan Kodjia to run through on goal, where he promptly sealed Villa’s 2-0 victory with another clinical finish.
Villa’s performances over the past few weeks have been what we were all expecting in the Championship from the beginning of the season. It may be too late to salvage this year’s playoff hopes, but returning a positive atmosphere to Villa Park is vital to the hopes of next year’s effort.