October has been the cruelest of months for Aston Villa. Three times in the last four seasons the month has wrought managerial changes and turnover leading to the instability that has plagued the club while scraping away in the Championship. So when Villa arrived at Carrow Road this afternoon chasing its first away win in the Premier League since February 2016, it would be difficult to anticipate the 5-1 demolition job Villa delivered to a outmanned Norwich City side on a sunny Saturday afternoon in the first full month of fall.
Wesley paced the Villans upfront netting two goals in the first half while Tyrone Mings marshalled the Villa defense. It was an overall dominate performance for Dean Smith’s side and one Villa supporters clearly enjoyed. The sounds from the away end drowned out the home support as Villa grabbed their second win of the season and climbed to 14th place in the table.
Smith’s faith in Wesley was rewarded early as Villa opened the scoring courtesy of Wesley’s right foot. Anwar El Ghazi flipped in an off-balance cross catching the Norwich back line off guard. Wesley settled the ball, turned, and rolled the goal past Norwich’s keeper Michael McGovern and Villa were off and running.
About 15 minutes later Wesley had his second. Jack Grealish took the ball forward after a Norwich giveaway and slid in Conor Hourihane along the left-hand side. The Irishman skinned a cross across the grass to Wesley who popped it in at close range for Villa’s second.
An open and fluid first half saw 28 shots on goal from both sides as Villa and Norwich chased a game both clearly played believing they can win by going forward and attacking defenses.
Villa did leave some goals on the pitch. In the 38th minute Villa won a penalty but Wesley was blocked by McGovern and then flipped the rebound over the bar. Earlier, before the second goal, El Ghazi pinged an open header
Villa started the second half with more of the same. Marvelous Nakamba pounced on another Norwich giveaway, pushed it forward to Grealish who completed a quick give and go with El Ghazi. Grealish opened nicely and left-footed Villa’s third into the net and the game was out of reach for the hosts. Hourihane netted Villa’s fourth in the 61st minute.
Douglas Luiz closed Villa’s account with another gorgeous goal from distance as he curled one past an outstretched McGovern and Villa’s afternoon was complete.
Villa’s only blemish on the sterling performance was a sloppy backless from Mings that Tom Heaton lost in the sun allowing Norwich’s Josep Drmic to pounce and slide his shot into an undefended Villa net.
Villa head into the International Break with some momentum and an opportunity to continue their growth into the Premier League in two weeks when they host Brighton.