Norwich City were relegated from the Premier League with defeat against Aston Villa at Villa Park. The tame loss, coupled with Burnley’s dramatic comeback win at Watford, left the Canaries bottom of the table and 13 points from safety with four games to play. Their fans continued to support as a relegation that has looked on the cards for some time was confirmed.
Ollie Watkins put Villa ahead in the first half, capitalising on a slip from Brandon Williams before lashing high into the net. Williams’ error summed up Norwich’s season, as did their lack of potency in front of goal. They created limited openings, while Villa hit the woodwork in each half. Danny Ings added a late goal in stoppage time to add to Norwich’s misery. Manager Dean Smith said “plans are already in place” for their bid to return to the top flight. “I think over the past four to five weeks, there’s probably been an inevitability about it,” he added. “I’m disappointed that we got relegated today because I thought our performance was good, but unfortunately over the season, the performances have not been good enough and we’ve lacked the quality required in this league. “[The players] are very down, very dejected.” The low-key win for Villa ended a five-match winless run, lifted them to 13th in the table and took them to the 40-point mark. This is the third successive time Norwich have been immediately relegated following promotion to the Premier League. The afternoon was particularly painful for Smith, given that he left Villa earlier this season.