Norwich City U23s 4 Aston Villa U23s 3 – Matt Jarvis injury takes edge off superb win for young Canaries
PUBLISHED: 23:11 12 January 2017 | UPDATED: 23:35 12 January 2017
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Matt Jarvis suffered an injury blow but James Maddison returned to help Norwich City Under-23s seal a place in the Premier League International Cup quarter-finals in chaotic style.
The young Canaries – bolstered by winger Jarvis, rising star Maddison and senior goalkeeper Paul Jones – had to come from behind three times to earn the victory and secure top spot in Group E.
The match was preceded by a minute’s silence for former Villa and England manager Graham Taylor on a freezing cold night and it was a match Taylor would have enjoyed greatly during his punditry days.
Jarvis had missed the best early chance when he scuffed a shot from a Carlton Morris cross in the 10th minute but it was Villa who took the lead. Michee Efete did well to block a shot on the edge of the box from Keinan Davis in the 29th minute, only to see left winger Corey Blackett-Taylor send the ball back into the box and Davis climb above Joe Crowe to head home from close range.
Jarvis then started to get some joy against substitute right-back Joseph Linley and he beat his marker for pace in the 42nd minute to cross, allowing Maddison to turn the ball into the far side of the net, in his first action since returning from his loan spell at Aberdeen.
The lead lasted less than two minutes though, as Jerrell Sellars smashed a 30-yard shot past Jones, under little pressure, to reclaim the lead for Villa. The visitors had chances to increase their lead but City clung on until half-time and then saw Morris head them level two minutes after the break, Maddison nodding goalwards from a Jarvis cross for the striker to head home.
Sellars then hit the post for Villa two minutes later in a frantic start to the second half, with Jarvis soon limping off after hurting his hamstring clearing the ball.
While City were down to 10 men, Harry McKirdy’s shot was parried by Jones and Davis scored from close range to put Villa 3-2 ahead.
Young winger Glenn Middleton replaced Jarvis in the 54th minute and fired a shot wide almost immediately before finding the target from 15 yards two minutes later.
The pace finally slowed but Diallang Jaiyesimi thumped a lovely low shot in from just inside the penalty area in the 76th minute to win it for the hosts and send them into the quarter-finals along with the likes of Manchester United, Porto, Hertha Berlin and Athletic Bilbao.
City’s U23s return to Premier League Two action on Monday against Fulham at Colney (1.30pm).
For full reaction to the victory from City U23s coach Dmitri Halajko, press play on the audio player above
Norwich: Jones; Ramsay, Efete, Crowe, Odusina; Grant (C), McGrandles (Lewis 46); Jaiyesimi, Maddison, Jarvis (Middleton 54); Morris (Ashley-Seal 70). Unused: Killip (GK), Cantwell, Wallis, Hlynsson
Villa: Sarkic; Leggett (C), Sulman, Toner, Calder; O’Hare (Abdoul 77), Sellars; McKirdy (Birch 84), Davis, Blackett-Taylor; Hepburn-Murphy (Linley 15). Unused: Idem (GK), Coates
Referee: Mr D Treleaven
Attendance: 200 (estimated)