‘Marvelous Nakamba smells blood’ – the deadly traps Aston Villa set in Norwich City hammering
Aston Villa slammed five goals past Norwich City – and each of them got better and better.
The hammering started in the 13th minute as Wesley hit the ball into the ground to send it bouncing beyond third-choice Norwich keeper Michael McGovern.
The goals kept flying in at Carrow Road, but it wasn’t as straight-forward a win as the score line suggested. There was method in the goal-crazy madness.
Villa fans, meanwhile, have no doubt recorded Saturday’s Match of the Day and will keep it on their Virgin or Sky box for a rainy day.
Our Man at Villa, Ashley Preece, gives an insight into Villa’s attacking play as Dean Smith’s side set traps, passed the ball quickly and dragged Norwich out before finding the net again and again.
There are a few unsung heroes mentioned in the build-up to the goals, from the brilliant Marvelous Nakamba to left-back Matty Targett.
Wesley, 13 minutes
Canaries dragged out
It all started from Norwich City being unable to find yellow shirts. First, Ben Godfrey picked the ball up only to see each of his teammates man-marked by Villa players who were all firmly holding their respective positions, waiting to pounce.
The ball eventually found its way to right-back Max Aarons who clipped a hopeful ball up the line to absolutely no-one before Tom Heaton claimed with ease. Just 72 seconds later, though, the ball was in the back of the net as Villa piled on the pressure.
Villa, meanwhile, initially worked the ball brilliantly through the thirds. Marvelous Nakamba performed a Cryuff turn to keep the momentum moving while John McGinn, Anwar El Ghazi and Jack Grealish interchanged in the middle behind Wesley.
Nine passes make it to Matt Targett before the full-back whips in a cross which it too long. Frederic Guilbert picks it up though and, sensing a real opportunity given how the Canaries were being shuffled out of position, Villa get it moving once more.
Bjorn Engels, Nakamba and McGinn play first-time passes in a triangle. McGinn gets it off Grealish before playing a one-two with Targett before clipping it cross-field to drag Norwich out further. Guilbert side-foots the ball first time before El Ghazi drives wide with one thing on his mind: get a cross in for Wesley. Norwich are in a daze at this point and the Dutchman goes for the kill, turning back before aiming – and finding – the penalty spot. Wesley did the rest despite three Norwich players around him. 1-0 Villa.
Wesley, 30 minutes
Villa press early with McGinn
Again, it all starts with Norwich, this time keeper Michael McGovern starts the play early as he rolls it to Godfrey inside the box.
The former Shrewsbury defender then finds Moritz Leitner but Villa set a trap as McGinn squeezes the Munich man who, quite simply, doesn’t expect it thus forcing the Norwich star into a hopeless pass out wide before Targett gobbles it up and plays a quick one-two with Grealish down Villa’s left.
Targett, though, attempts to find Wesley before Conor Hourihane intervenes with a deft touch to kill the ball before delivering a wicked cross as Wesley continues his run forward; the 22-year-old side-footing home for an easy second. It all came from that trap, though, as Villa pressed the ball early through McGinn.
Grealish, 48 minutes
Nakamba smells blood
There’s a theme occurring here: Norwich starting with the ball. Once more it’s McGovern in goal. He pumps it forward before Nakamba wins the header. The Zimbabwean then comes alive. Aarons gets hold of the ball and attempts to find Emi Buendia. Nakamba smells blood here, anticipating how the Argentine doesn’t know Nakamba’s near him and Villa’s anchorman rushes in to take control of Buendia’s lazy flick towards Kenny McLean.
Villa are now in, Nakamba quickly plays in Grealish who bares down on Norwich’s 18-yard box, forcing their back line to retreat before waltzing past Ibrahim Amadou and playing a short pass to El Ghazi. It’s three on four at this stage in Norwich’s favour but Godfrey gets sucked to the ball and Grealish holds back knowing El Ghazi will tee him up. The Villa skipper takes it first time with a side-footed, left-footed caressed finish to give McGovern absolutely no chance.
Hourihane, 60 minutes
Targett’s ears prick up
Villa, for goal number four, pin Norwich in early as Wesley puts intense pressure on Amadou, forcing the Norwich man to boot it out for a throw-in.
Again, like the Villa goals previously, Villa seek about dragging Norwich out and Targett and Grealish do exactly that with a quickly-taken throw-in before the Villa skipper spanks one out wide to Guilbert early, forcing Norwich out of position yet again.
This time it’s McGinn who gets involved, advancing forward to get on the end of an El Ghazi through-ball into the box before the ball’s worked back as the Scot keeps possession by finding El Ghazi and then Grealish.
The possession ends, though, but Norwich gift Villa another chance to get at them as McLean – who’s put under pressure by Hourihane – then plays a hospital pass out to Buendia. Targett’s the key man now as the left-back fancies his chances and advances inside to take the ball like candy from a baby. It’s as if Targett’s ears prick up, knowing McLean will look for Buendia and the ex-Saints man times his challenge to perfection, nipping in and taking the ball before Hourihane says, ‘Get off this mate, it’s all mine’ before cannoning one with his left-peg to make it four-zip.
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Douglas Luiz, 82 minutes
The pair Samba dance in the sun
Eighty-one minutes are on the clock and Villa are 4-0 to the good yet Villa’s floppy-haired captain leads by example and chases down the Norwich defence. It’s a lost cause if anything but Grealish’s pressure makes this goal.
Amadou, a holding midfielder playing centre-half, was awkward on the ball and didn’t know what to do before attempting to find Leitner.
With Grealish further afield, Wesley takes up the advanced play-maker position in his absence and nicks the ball in a good area before McGinn picks up on the loose ball.
The Scot finds Grealish with yet another first-time pass before the skipper does a few step-overs and finds Wesley. Douglas Luiz is advancing at this point and his countryman, Wesley, finds him after he checks back to give himself all of five yards.
Douglas then traps the ball with his studs, rolls it out of his feet before bending the ball with so much venom to find the top right-hand corner. Douglas runs off before Wesley grabs him and the pair Samba dance in the sun to bring down the curtain on this Carrow Road goals show.