Lambert has last laugh on his happy return to Carrow Road

Wed, Dec 12, 2012, 00:00

English League Cup Quarter Final: Norwich City 1 Aston Villa 4:Andreas Weimann ensured a triumphant return for Paul Lambert to Carrow Road by scoring two second-half goals to secure Aston Villa’s passage into the last four of the League Cup.

 Norwich had taken the lead in the 19th minute through Steve Morison but Villa struck back almost immediately thanks to Brett Holman before an entertaining tie was settled by Weimann, who had come on in the first half for the injured Darren Bent. Christian Benteke scored in stoppage time to crown a vibrant performance.

For his first return to Carrow Road since leaving in the summer, Lambert recalled Bent from his mysterious internal exile. The wisdom of the Scot’s decision to leave East Anglia was questioned with pointed chants of “How green is your grass, Paul Lambert?”

Attempted cross

Sixty seconds had not even elapsed when Morison hit the post with what was surely an attempted cross from the right. Two minutes later Holman split the Norwich defence with a clever pass that presented Bent with a prime opportunity, but the striker shot straight at Mark Bunn. The night was to get worse for the forward as he suffered a hamstring injury and had to be replaced.

Canaries silenced

Morison showed no trace of rustiness in the 19th minute when a long ball from the back broke kindly to him and he guided it expertly past the advancing Shay Given from the edge of the area. The raucous home crowd squawked with joy but no hungry cat has ever silenced canaries as quickly as Holman then did, equalising within two minutes with a ferocious snapshot from 20 yards.

Gramt Holt seemed certain to make a breakthrough in the 77th minute when he met a corner with a powerful header from seven yards but Given foiled him with a superb one-handed save. Two minutes later Eric Lichaj delivered a low cross that Weimann sidefooted into the net from eight yards.

Five minutes from time Weimann ensured victory by netting from a similar distance after an unselfish pass form Benteke. The Belgian completed the scoring with a shot from 25 yards in stoppage time.

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