Norwich City were beaten by Aston Villa in an action-packed Sky Bet Championship fixture at Villa Park.
Conor Hourihane gave the hosts the lead in the first-half and their advantage was doubled by Andre Green just before half-time.
Josh Murphy pulled a goal back for City in the second half before Hourihane restored Villa’s two-goal lead with twenty minutes to play. Nelson Oliveira kept City in the match, making it 3-2 with ten minutes left, before Hourihane completed his hat-trick in the final five minutes to seal the points.
Daniel Farke made four changes from the team that beat QPR on Wednesday night. Marco Stiepermann came in for his full debut in a City shirt, along with Russell Martin, Steven Naismith and Cameron Jerome who all earned recalls. Ivo Pinto, Wes Hoolahan, James Maddison and Oliveira dropped out from the starting eleven.
City were caught napping in the opening few minutes and almost went behind as a result. Keinan Davis managed to break free but he was brilliantly shut out by Angus Gunn.
City got into some good positions in the early exchanges but the final ball was lacking – James Husband and Josh Murphy were a threat down the left but both had crosses blocked when in good positions.
Villa went close on 16 minutes through Davis again when he forced Gunn into action with a powerful header but the forward turned provider for the opening goal midway through the first half.
He managed to work some room on the right and flashed a ball across the face of goal with Hourihane free at the back post to slot home.
Things almost got worse for City minutes later when Davis hit the crossbar with an instinctive volley.
City were struggling to create opportunities in the final third and Villa took advantage again on the stroke of half-time when Andre Green curled home brilliantly from just outside the box.
Farke stuck with the same eleven after the interval and his team almost responded on 50 minutes when Naismith rounded Johnstone but hit the side netting from a tight angle.
City needed a spark and after his sensational strike on Wednesday, Harrison Reed again provided the magic, clipping a terrific pass through to Murphy who showed great composure to slot past Johnstone.
The visitors were now buoyant and Murphy was full of confidence, bursting down the left and repeatedly causing Alan Hutton problems.
Against the run of play though, Villa restored their two-goal cushion with around 20 minutes left. A speculative strike by Hourihane took a significant deflection on its way past Gunn and into the net.
Farke introduced Hoolahan and Oliveira with 20 minutes to play and the substitutes made an immediate impact. Hoolahan passed to Murphy who ran across the edge of the Villa box, patiently waiting for an opportunity to present itself. He eventually crossed for Oliveira to tap past Johnstone and put City back in the match once again.
However, City were undone for a third time by Hourihane on 85 minutes. The former Barnsley man picked his spot from 25 yards and found the bottom corner to put Villa 4-2 up and earn them their first league win of the season.
City meanwhile were succumbed to their second league defeat of the campaign and will hope to improve on Tuesday in their Carabao Cup second round match with Charlton Athletic at Carrow Road.