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Match Reports

Rhodes brace helps City fight back to beat Villa

23 October 2018

A second-half brace from Jordan Rhodes saw Norwich City come from behind to beat Aston Villa 2-1 at Carrow Road.

An unfortunate deflection off the shoulder of Tom Trybull from a James Chester header gave Villa the advantage in a close first-half.

However, just like Saturday's victory over Nottingham Forest, the Canaries responded after the interval and two instinctive finishes from Rhodes helped them on their way to back-to-back victories.

Daniel Farke made two changes to the side which won at Nottingham Forest on Saturday. Emi Buendia returned to the starting eleven in place of Onel Hernandez who dropped to the bench and Tom Trybull came in for a rare start in place of Alex Tettey who missed out altogether after his wife gave birth earlier in the day. 

Both teams looked confident early on but it was Villa who started the brighter of the two, with a couple of breaks down the right-hand side eventually coming to nothing.

But after weathering some early pressure, City settled into their rhythm and began to move the ball about at pace. Despite that, both Moritz Leitner and Todd Cantwell missed the target with respective efforts.

But against the run of play, Villa took the lead on 19 minutes. An inswinging Conor Hourihane corner from the right-hand side was headed towards goal by Chester but the ball clipped off Trybull’s shoulder and past Tim Krul.

Villa took plenty of confidence after going in front and nearly doubled their lead on the half-hour mark. Alan Hutton managed to cut the ball back and Tammy Abraham’s strike was deflected onto the post, with Max Aarons on hand to block a potential rebound from Albert Adomah.

Shortly after Jordan Rhodes couldn’t get enough on a header from a Leitner cross, Villa then wasted a free-kick from the edge of the area with Hourihane curling harmlessly over.

Villa had some injury trouble at the start of the second-half and manager Dean Smith was forced into a double substitution, with Adomah and Abraham being replaced by Anwar El Ghazi and Scott Hogan.

Within moments of the substitutes being introduced, City were level and once again, the Canaries netted via a set-piece. Buendia teasing delivery was planted into the net by Rhodes to send the Carrow Road faithful in raptures.

The game had a quiet period for the next 20 minutes with both teams lacking that final pass but a moment of quality from the home side saw them seize the advantage with just 15 minutes left on the clock. Marco Stiepermann fizzed superb low cross into the area and Rhodes reacted quickest in the box to stab home his and City’s second of the game.

Carrow Road was set for a nervy final 15 minutes as City set about holding out for their second win in succession but they managed repel most of what Villa could throw at them. Although Hogan were inches away from connecting with a Grealish free-kick in stoppage time.

The game ended on a slightly sour note with Louis Thompson having to be substituted through injury just seconds after coming on. But it only took the tiniest of glosses off another victory for Daniel Farke's Canaries.

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