Norwich City’s hopes of a trip to Wembley in the Capital One Cup ended as former manager Paul Lambert made an ultimately emphatic winning return to foggy Carrow Road with his Aston Villa side.

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Three late goals, two by Villa substitute Andreas Weimann and one from Christian Benteke, decided the tie as Weimann struck after 79 and 85 minutes and Benteke in stoppage time to book the five-time trophy winners a semi-final place and end City’s 10-match unbeaten run.

Weimann’s first came soon after a brilliant save by veteran goalkeeper Shay Given had prevented City skipper Grant Holt making it 2-1, a turning point in an end-to-end contest.

The Canaries certainly had their chances, Steve Morison missing out three times and denied once by Given after giving his side a 19th-minute lead, but Villa were always cohesive and dangerous on the attack, with keeper Mark Bunn forced into a string of first-half saves.

So Villa maintained their 100 per cent League Cup record against City with five wins out of five in the competition, even if the final scoreline was harsh on their hosts.

City boss Chris Hughton, celebrating his 54th birthday, made three changes from the side that started the 4-3 Premier League win over Swansea.

Steven Whittaker (hip) and Wes Hoolahan (groin) joined Ryan Bennett and Alex Tettey on the sidelines and were replaced by Leon Barnett and Steve Morison. Javier Garrido dropped to the substitutes’ bench and was replaced at left-back by Marc Tierney.

Michael Turner was back on the bench after missing four games with a shoulder injury, while defender George Francomb was a surprise inclusion among the substitutes.

Villa boss Lambert made four changes after the 0-0 draw at home to Stoke.

The big news was a recall for previously discarded striker Darren Bent, while veteran ’keeper Shay Given and midfield pair Karim El Ahmadi and Fabian Delph were also back in the side. Ashley Westwood was missing through suspension, while ’keeper Brad Guzan plus midfielder Barry Bannan and attacker Gabby Agbonlahor were relegated to the bench.

Lambert entered the foggy arena just before kick-off to a fairly muted response with a ripple of applause from parts of the City Stand and a few boos into the bargain.

A helter-skelter first half started dramatically with City, fielding two strikers, almost ahead in the opening minute as Morison’s cross eluded Given and rebounded off the inside of the post.

In a hectic start, Villa replied as Bent broke through on the right side of the penalty area but was denied by Bunn.

There was a problem for City as Holt slipped attempting to cross from the byline and needed attention.

Morison pulled a shot across goal in the 10th minute when he should have done better, and at the other end, Delph saw a powerful effort deflected wide.

Given looked shaky as Morison charged down his clearance, then Tierney put the keeper under pressure, forcing him to concede a throw.

Barnett denied Bent with an important challenge and Bunn saved smartly from Clark from the resulting corner.

But with 19 minutes gone, City took the lead as Morison chased a flick from Bunn’s goal-kick and coolly beat Given.

Two minutes later it was all square as Bent jumped for a header and the ball dropped to Holman, who beat Bunn with a lethal half-volley from 20 yards.

Bunn had to make a fine double save to keep Norwich on terms, diving to his right to deny Lowton, then to his left to foil Benteke.

Morison had a golden chance to score a second on 31 minutes but failed to connect with a fine Snodgrass cross into the six-yard box.

Bent’s lack of match practice appeared to catch up with him when he hobbled off to be replaced by Weimann.

Bunn saved again as Holman weaved his way through and let fly in search of a second.

One minute before the interval, Given had to dive to his right to keep out Morison’s effort after a superb crossfield ball by Howson.

• Half-time: Norwich City 1, Aston Villa 1

Three minutes after the break, Morison headed just over the top from Snodgrass’ cross after Russell Martin’s raking pass to the winger.

Less than a minute later Morison was clean through from Holt’s pass but tried to float his shot over Given and just cleared the bar again.

Within seconds, Morison had the ball in the net with a much better finish but was flagged offside.

Then Benteke headed home for Villa from Weimann’s cross but had also strayed offside.

Given was almost in trouble again as Holt closed down his clearance kick but he could only find the side netting from a difficult angle.

Delph tripped Howson to give City a dead-ball opportunity, but Snodgrass curled the free-kick straight at Given.

Holt so nearly made it 2-1 with a header from a Snodgrass corner after 77 minutes that Given palmed on to the bar, a marvellous save to keep his side on terms.

But the breakthrough was Villa’s two minutes later as Lichaj crossed from the left and substitute Weimann sidefooted the ball home.

Immediately, Jackson replaced Morison in a bid to claw City back on terms.

It was all over after 85 minutes as a horrible mix-up at the back enabled Benteke to set up Weimann for his second goal of the night, tucking away the striker’s cross.

Pilkington fired wide as City looked to reply, before Howson was replaced by Elliott Bennett.

In stoppage time, Benteke fired in a rocket of a shot to make it 4-1.

• Norwich City: Bunn; Russell Martin, Barnett, Bassong, Tierney; Snodgrass, Howson (Elliott Bennett, 87), Johnson, Pilkington; Holt, Morison (Jackson, 80). Subs (not used): Rudd, Francomb, Garrido, Turner, Fox.

• Aston Villa: Given; Herd, Clark, Baker; Lowton, El Ahmadi, Delph, Lichaj; Holman (N’Zogbia, 73); Bent (Weimann, 36), Benteke.

Subs (not used): Guzan, Williams, Bannan, Albrighton, Agbonlahor.

• Referee: Michael Oliver (Northumberland)

• Attendance: 26,142

• Goals: City: Morison (19). Villa: Holman (21), Weimann (79, 85), Benteke (90)

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22 comments

  • Just looking at the League table I'll reserve judgement until Saturday. It may or may not be a M.Mouse cup but looking at last night's selections I'd say Hughton's priority is defininitely the League.

    Report this comment

    DocOhNo

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • WHY DOES EVERYONE THINK THAT WE WILL BEAT WIGAN----BELIEVE ME ---THEY ARE A MUCH BETTER SIDE THAN A.V.

    Report this comment

    superfan59

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • oh and by the way, I don't want to take any positives out of this game!

    Report this comment

    Lobbo

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • We don`t seem to be as much of a force without Hoolahoop & Tettey - unfortunately there do not appear to be natural understudies for them, either. Not at the moment, anyway. ButterfieldHowson eventually? Have we seen the last of Surman? Foxy too, maybe? Interesting George Francomb among the subs. Disappointing result and a tad worrying that, after a mean spell, we have leaked 7 goals in the last 2 matches. Morison`s finishing was dire. Ring rusty or just not good enough? Time to move on and consolidate our advantage over 17th place in the Prem, currently Wigan on 15 pts with Villa in 16th on goal difference. Give it Big to Wigan on Saturday!! IHWT.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • Superfan. - wow. Such an articulate response. Brilliant. Answered my question spot on. Why aren't all ncfc fans as nice as you?

    Report this comment

    MonkeyNuts

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • I feel that missing Hoolahan as well as Tettey and Ruddy was just a bridge too far unfortunately. Still, never mind. It was good practise for the FA cup. ;-)

    Report this comment

    Adam Penny

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • I somehow never expected us to compete last nite. The only thing that concerns me is that I hope it won't be "The mystery of the disappearing form" (apologies to Enid Blyton) as it was following a similar tame surrender to Leicester in a Cup game last season. Otherwise, I won't be too hard on the lads, after recent heroics against Man U + Everton.

    Report this comment

    Timbo

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • Superfan - you are a WUM. On what basis are Wigan a much better team than Aston Villa?

    Report this comment

    MonkeyNuts

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • Looking at the photo, I think I've spotted the trouble.....It's all those hands on hips! Nice!

    Report this comment

    Stew Pydsodd

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • Damn it, I wanted to go to Wembly. Still could I suppose, FA Cup anyone? Could happen. In all seriousness, we lost, and it's annoying, more so if you look at the other clubs that are in it (3 prem, 2 champ and 1 lg 2), but as Algarve Canary said given the choice of 3 points on Saturday or a League Cup victory I'd take the 3 points. Actually I'd have taken both but oh well.

    Report this comment

    CiaranC14

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • The effort wasn't there last night. Too many wayward passes a lack of creativity from midfield and generally not the same attitude we give towards the league. I think that was the difference. However, if Moro had finished one of his chances maybe things would have been different, we'll never know.

    Report this comment

    Harry Waye-Barker

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • It's never good to lose....especially when we had plenty of squandered chances early on.....(I'm sorry.....but Morison again????),,but.....give me the choice of winning tonight, or taking another 3 points on Saturday....I'll take the 3 points happily. I have always considered this competition a distraction from the main task, anyway.

    Report this comment

    Algarve Canary

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • I agree with Mad Brewster. There are absolutely no positives to take from that truly dreadful performance. I guess you could say that we are one game nearer to Whooton's inevitable departure. But still not close enough. Shocking effort. Ged - A true NCFC legend.

    Report this comment

    Ged Steroo

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • I would suggest that on their day Wigan could be better than Villa. Much better - no, equal to - Yes. Much better performance please sat. with at least garrido & whittaker back hopefully and return to our normal formation. OTBC

    Report this comment

    NorthCity

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • Don't give me that baloney that this result didn't matter and we can concentrate on the league. 1-4 what's that all about, Villa 17 shots and 13 on target, are we for real or what. Every year our cup attitude disappoints me big style. Sometimes the people at the top try to brain wash us. Norwich at Wembley would be nice, have a nice Christmas everyone!

    Report this comment

    Lobbo

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • SUPERFAN, YOUR CAPS LOCK IS ON.

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    DocOhNo

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • The effort wasn't there last night. Too many wayward passes a lack of creativity from midfield and generally not the same attitude we give towards the league. I think that was the difference. However, if Moro had finished one of his chances maybe things would have been different, we'll never know.

    Report this comment

    Harry Waye-Barker

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • Haven't seen so much lack of effort for some time and the players that replaced the regulars certainly didn't do their chances of being selected in future any good they all looked well off the pace, biggest dissapointment was Tierney who never got past the half way line all evening and was a complete mismatch with Pilkinton who also looked lethargic. Mustn't forget Howson & Barnett who also looked lost most of the time. Very poor finishing by Morrison who made himself several chances and fluffed them badly. Thought we had good cover in all positions but but sadly i am totally wrong. Looked like the August?Sept Norwich team in style. Very poor.

    Report this comment

    goldie

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • i see the cliches are out already, its only a mickey mouse cup if your not in it. In fairness, im not here to gloat, i actually think CH got it majorly wrong tonight. If he would have put out a slightly stronger side i think you would have been in the semis and not us. We had a poor second string side out today with 6 key figures either out injured or not named. But, we played very well and in the end it could have been 4-6. The fans were a real credit to our club, you seemed oddly quiet the whole match. A true difference to the end of season debacle last year.

    Report this comment

    MonkeyNuts

    Tuesday, December 11, 2012

  • Like Lobbo, I feel no inclination to "find positives" from that game. Just go out & win the next one.

    Report this comment

    Mad Brewer

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • Any striker out there called waitrose, its better than morisons

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

  • Morison scored one but missed a hatful, at least he was in the right place but a different striker.....

    Report this comment

    wivenhoebudgie

    Wednesday, December 12, 2012

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