Alarm bells ringing for Norwich City players as Aston Villa duo enjoy an about turn in mood
It was a pretty straight forward situation for Ron Vlaar – Norwich City were in a good place heading to Aston Villa on Sunday afternoon, but it was the hosts who finished the day in the finest fettle.
The Canaries have made an art out of looking like being on the verge of some Premier League progress, only to find themselves a few steps further back within another game or two.
Sadly, their latest attempts at getting one over their old – surely to be legendary – manager, ended in the usual pain.
“To be honest, I don’t know where that came from – I think every chance we had in that first half, it was a goal,” admitted Vlaar, with Villa looking entirely lost before some magic from Christian Benteke set them on their way.
“We didn’t start that well and went a goal down, and then the big man started to show what he is capable of and we scored a few goals, and it was really important for us.
“We didn’t score many goals the last few games but today it all fell right for us and we really needed it for ourselves and for everybody else who loves Aston Villa.
“We were struggling a little bit but this was a massive win for us.
“Norwich beat Tottenham last week so they were in a good mood, but we stopped them today and gave ourselves some space. And that’s the most important thing.
“We still need a lot more points but this is a good start with 10 games to go.”
The moment Benteke’s overhead kick clicked, so did Villa. From domination, Norwich City suddenly had no response.
It also ended a run of four games without a goal for the Belgian striker, who flipped from shot-confidence to powerhouse striker. His second goal took only another 120 seconds to come.
“I’m very happy because I scored, but it is not just about scoring,” he said. “It’s more important to take the three points because we started really badly, to be honest.
“But after their goal we came back well into the game and played some great football.
“I think we showed some great character, so me great football and everybody took responsibility.
“The first goal was more instinct I think. I’ve tried to score goals like that before, but it is hit and miss. Sometimes it goes wide or too close to the goalkeeper, but today it was in the net so it was good.
“The second goal was a good cross from Ashley (Westwood) and I just hit it with my head. I hope now I’m going to keep my level up until the end of the season.
“For the fans and for us it was a good win because it’s been a hard time. For the fans it is good to win at home. We’ve shown some great football and good character today.”
A fire alarm prevented Norwich City’s players from passing comment on their Villa Park defeat. It remains to be seen whether those alarm bells were ringing all the back to Norfolk.