Aston Villa 2-0 Norwich City: Watkins and Ings strike to confirm Canaries relegation
Ollie Watkins opens the scoring against Norwich - Photo by Neville Williams/Aston Villa FC via Getty Images

Norwich City had their relegation from the Premier League confirmed with defeat away to Aston Villa.

The Canaries almost grabbed the opener, as Milot Rashica thumped a shot towards the top corner only to be denied by Emiliano Martinez.

Ollie Watkins grabbed the opener just before halftime, his ferocious effort crept just in below the crossbar to give Villa the lead.

However, the away side created very little as they fought for their top-flight status and their relegation was sealed when Danny Ings stroked home to double their advantage.

  • Story of the match

Steven Gerrard made three changes to the side that drew 0-0 with Leicester City last time out.

Tim Iroegbunam replaced Douglas Luiz in the holding midfield role as the youngster made his first Premier League start.

The boss also opted to alter half of his back four, with Ezri Konsa and Ashley Young dropping to the bench to be replaced by Callum Chambers and Lucas Digne.

Former Villa boss and now Canaries manager Dean Smith had to reshape his defence with an injury to Christoph Zimmermann meaning Max Aarons and Brandon Williams were recalled.

It was the home side who had the first chance of the game as Digne fired a corner into the near post area which was met by Watkins but he couldn't steer the ball into the path of the goal.

Winger Leon Bailey then aimed to grab only his second goal in claret and blue, twisting and turning on the edge of the box before rifling a shot onto the crossbar.

The momentum swung in the away outfit's favour, as Rashica fired a shot towards the top corner that was palmed away by Martinez.

Villa then took the lead as substitute Ings clipped a ball over the top of the Canaries' defence.

Watkins then nodded the ball past Brandon Williams who slipped to allow the striker time to find the roof of the net.

The Villa striker partnership almost combined for a second just after the break as Watkins looped a pass into the path of the former Southampton man.

However, the forward couldn't stroke the ball past Tim Krul who got down well to save.

Pierre Lees-Melou then carved out Norwich's first glaring chance of the game, but his effort was easily saved by Martinez after he'd worked the angle well.

Although the Villa Park residents had dominated, the game still very much hung in the balance as Norwich pressed to secure their Premier League status for another week.

Josh Sargent was then subbed on as he returned from a month-long spell on the sidelines, however, he then picked up another knock and was substituted himself.

Ings then reaped the reward for his efforts this afternoon, as former Norwich man Emi Buendia knocked the ball down for him.

The forward then swivelled on the spot to stroke past Tim Krul.

This sealed the fate of Norwich along with Burnley's victory over Watford which meant they returned to the EFL Championship following their promotion last season.

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