This Is Villa Park

This Is Villa Park

Sunday, November 06, 2011

Gabriel Agbonlahor 3-2 Norwich City

Aston Villa 3-2 Norwich City

Birmingham born and breed, he breathes claret and blue. Gabby Agbonlahor against the rest of the world. His name on the score sheet and two assists. What more could you ask for? Pace, quick feet and a never-say-die attitude? Agbonlahor has it all and in abundance.

Last season will be one to forget, hit with injuries and managerial disagreements. Playing just twenty-six times and scoring only three, he has already surpassed the latter stat; scoring five and assisting four.

Twenty-six shots on goal in eleven games, the resurgence of Gabriel Agbonlahor is imminent for all to see.

“His performance today was exceptional. I know in that kind of forum, Gabby has got to have caught the eye." Alex McLeish said.


It was a game of five goals as nearly promoted Norwich City rolled into town. Anthony Pilkington with the first goal of the game on the twenty-sixth minute, however just five minutes later Darren Bent made up for his miss against Sunderland last week when his predatory skills were asked for. Gabby Agbonlahor then latched onto a string on Norwich mistakes early in the second half to give Villa the lead. Soon after Gabby yet again provided the deadly cross for record-signing Bent to poke into the back of the net. Yet the game was still not over when Steve Morison's late header meant for a nervy finale.

The sea of yellow and green filtered through the streets of Aston hours before kick-off as Norwich City welcomed another Premier League encounter. In loud voice, the Canaries were the first ones to celebrate after a bright start, which had led to Villa's keeper Given being called into action to make a trio of saves, early on. Alan Hutton made a silly challenge on captain Grant Holt. Anthony Pilkington stepped up and swung the ball just past Shay Given's reach to give them the lead.

After half an hour, Bent brought Villa level. For the second time, consectively Bent has been given some stick. This time for his spell at Ipswich, Norwich still seem to remember. Obviously, Darren had the last laugh. Agbonlahor outpaced on-loan defender Kyle Naughton to fire in a cross where Benty bundled it over the line.

After the break, a mix-up between Barnett and goalkeeper Ruddy allowed speed demon Agbonlahor roll the ball into the net. A cruel, but deserved punishment for Norwich's Championship-esque defending. Barnett's pass was just too short, however everyone thought that Ruddy would be favourite to get there first, only for Gabby to score from it to rescue the lead.

After sixty-two minutes, Bent increased Villa's lead, with Agbonlahor once again the creator. When Charles N'Zogbia's initial ball was cleared, the danger looked clear until Agbonlahor's pace meant he reached the first to then pick out Bent, who made no mistake from close range.

The Canaries refused to give up and reduced the arrears after 78 minutes. Holt delivered a far-post centre and Morison ghosted in to head past Given.

"We looked like a team that could score goals today," said McLeish. "There was some terrific forward play but Norwich gave us one hell of a game. We showed great character and resilience to bounce back from going behind."



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