Villa at home. Just what we need. 1992-93 aside we've never been very good against Villa home or away, plus it's on TV and in the middle of a run of televised games all won by the home team. It all feels very AlongComeNorwich.
It's preview time with David 'Spud' Thornhill; time to call Daryl Sutch and John Polston?
Last Saturday Norwich went into the game with Barnsley unbeaten in the last 10 games against the Tykes. It wasn’t an omen of good times to come as a first half of “going through the motions” contributed to a 2-1 defeat.
However, tonight those roles are reserved as we’ve only won 2 games in the last 15 games against Aston Villa. Obviously in that case we will win. Or might win. Could win? Probably won’t win.
Overall after 64 meetings, the Villains have won almost half with 30 wins compared to the Canaries 18.
The first meeting came almost 80 years ago,taking placein the Second Division on 19 December 1936 at Villa Park. Villa won 3-0. Four months later Norwich would get their revenge and record their biggest win over Aston Villa, thumping them 5-1 at Carrow Road.
The following season, Aston Villa strolled to the Division Two title, with their crowning game coming against City at Villa Park. The home side celebrated accordingly with a 2-0 win in front of 42,021. 35 years after our formation, this was the first time Norwich played in front of a crowd over 40,000.
30 years would pass before the clubs would meet again, by which time both teams were back in the Second Division. It proved to be a successful season with both clubs reaching the League Cup final and gaining promotion to the top flight. First Wembley, where despite Kevin Keelan becoming the first goalkeeper to save a penalty in a Wembley Final, (take that Dave Beasant) Ray Graydon would tuck away the rebound and Villa won their second League Cup.
Then the league. Where we will focus on the promotion we ultimately won, rather than Villa’s 4-1 Carrow Road win, which came in front of the highest crowd for a game in the second tier of English League football at Carrow Road, 35,943.
Less than four months later, Norwich got revenge by beating Aston Villa 5-3 with Ted MacDougall scoring the first treble by a City player in the top flight.
In April 1989, Norwich striker Dean Coney scored his one and only goal for Norwich. Having tried and failed with both feet and head, Coney resorted to using his bum to turn the ball home in a 2-2 draw. Continuing the theme, six months later, Villa returned to Carrow Road and Norwich won 2-0 with the Andy Linighan scoring a painful second as a corner hit him square in the plums and went in.
While we maybe don’t like Villa for stealing away Paul Lambert, they had good reason to dislike us, when in April 1990, with just two games to go, Aston Villa were still in a chance to winning the Division One title. Leading 3-1 with less than 15minutes left, the Villains were heading into the last game of the season with title hopes. However, a Derek Mountfield own goal pulled one back before a late Robert Rosario goal made it 3-3 and Villa lost the title to Liverpool.
If you need inspiration for how football isn’t all bad and extraordinary things can happen, Daryl Sutch scored a winner for City against Villa back in 1992. A 3-2 win was one of only 3 victories City have recorded there despite trying (or not) 31 times.
The magic continued that season as both clubs would battle Manchester United for the inaugural Premier League title. City would also beat Villa 1-0, courtesy of a late John Polston winner at Carrow Road as the title race entered the home stretch. Polston had become a father for the first time that day. Sadly both clubs would falter and United won their first league title under Sir Alex.
Last February, Aston Villa were having their worst season ever. They had only one home win all season when in true 'Along Come Norwich' style Norwich would rock up and then not turn up, losing 2-0. It was Villa’s last win for another six months too, what are we like?