Norwich 1-4 Villa report: Weimann brace earns semi-final place
Super sub Andi Weimann took centre stage to steer Villa into the Capital One Cup semi-finals.
Villa were rocked by an opening goal from Steve Morison, just as travelling supporters were about to begin their 19th-minute applause for club captain Stiliyan Petrov.
But within two minutes Brett Holman brought the scores level - and Weimann was on target in the 79th and 85th minutes to seal Villa's 14th League Cup semi-final appearance.
And to seal a super show by the boys in claret and blue, Christian Benteke fired home a superb shot in stoppage time to send the claret and blue army into raptures.
It was a thrilling encounter from the outset and both sides could have been ahead inside the opening couple of minutes.
The game was barely 40 seconds old when Morison's inswinging cross from the right eluded everyone and came back off the inside of the far post before Villa were able to clear.
The visitors responded with a superb through ball from Holman sending Bent racing through the right-hand channel.
The club's record signing looked a certain scorer but keeper Mark Bunn raced out to narrow the angle and make a fine save.
Fabian Delph was unlucky with a rising 25-yard drive which Bunn tipped away for a corner and it was clearly only a matter of time before the opening goal.
So it proved. After Ciaran Clark's close-range effort had been held by Bunn, the home side broke quickly and Villa were caught square as Morsion stormed through to send a right-foot shot past the advancing Shay Given from just outside the penalty area.
Despite the disappointment of seeing their team fall behind, Villa's supporters were as enthusiastic as ever with their 19th-minute tribute to Petrov - and the applause had barely subsided when they were able to celebrate an equaliser.
Once again, it was a goal out of nothing, Holman guiding the ball into the corner of the net with the outside of his right boot after it had fallen to him off a defender's head just outside the area.
As the visitors grew in confidence, Bunn was forced into two saves in a matter of seconds, tipping away low shots from Matt Lowton and Benteke before Bent's angled shot was blocked by Sebastien Bassong.
That proved to be Bent's final contribution, the striker limping off with a hamstring injury in the 35th minute and being replaced by Weimann.
Chances continued to come thick and fast.
Three minutes before the interval, Holman made a fine run before his shot was palmed out by Bunn, and at the other end Given did well to push away Morison's fierce drive for a corner.
The frenetic pace continued into the second half, with Morrison heading over, chipping over and then having an effort ruled out for offside before the same fate befell Benteke, who was too far advanced when he headed in Weimann's cross.
Given nearly put Villa in trouble when his attempted 58th-minute clearance was charged down by Holt, the visitors breathing a sigh of relief when the striker fired into the side-netting from an acute angle.
But Given more than made amends with a brilliant one-handed save from Holt's powerful 77th-minute header - and two minutes later Villa were ahead.
Five minutes from the end Weimann secured Villa's place in the last four when he side-footed home his second from close range after Benteke had played the ball invitingly into his path.
And the Belgium international put the icing on the cake with a well placed drive into the corner in the second minute of stoppage time.
Norwich: Bunn; Martin, Barnett, Bassong, Tierney; Snodgrass, Howson (Bennett 86), Johnson; Morison (Jackson 80), Holt, Pilkington; Unused subs: Rudd, Turner, Fox, Garrido, Francomb.
Villa: Given; Lowton, Herd, Clark, Baker, Lichaj; Holman (N'Zogbia 73), El Ahmadi, Delph; Bent (Weimann 35), Benteke. Unused subs: Guzan, Agbonlahor, Albrighton, Bannan, Williams.
Make sure you back the boys against Tottenham.
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