Match ends, Norwich City 1, Aston Villa 0.
Norwich City 1-0 Aston Villa
Nelson Oliveira scored for the third successive match as Norwich beat Aston Villa to earn just their second victory in their last eight Championship games.
City took control after the interval and Oliveira placed a 25-yard shot into the corner following a purposeful run.
A drab first half saw only two shots on target - both by the hosts.
But the Canaries then upped the tempo and Robbie Brady went close, before Oliveria struck to ensure a second defeat in three matches for Villa.
A goalmouth scramble almost saw Villa snatch an equaliser in injury time, but that was just about the only noteworthy chance they created in a lacklustre display.
The visitors, who had only lost once in nine under Steve Bruce, rarely threatened and it was Norwich who had the best chances both before and after Oliveira's superb strike.
The Portuguese striker almost scored in the first half but his follow-up effort was kept out by Italian keeper Pierluigi Gollini, who had failed to hold on to Martin Olsson's initial shot.
Brady should have scored after a fine team move only to shoot wide but, after Oliveira's effort, Norwich held on to move up to eighth in the table - one point off the play-off positions.
Norwich City boss Alex Neil:
"We started brightly, were in control for most of the first half and were totally dominant in the second and fully deserved to take the three points.
"It was a night when we stood up to the challenge like men and everyone did their jobs well.
"We have been on a poor run and I know the results have been unacceptable. But we played really well against Brentford, were good in the second half at Barnsley and have played well again this evening. I certainly think we are moving in the right direction and now we need to push on.
"Nelson showed his quality again tonight. He has been excellent in the last three games and has got the goals he deserved. I knew what I was getting when I bought him and now he has settled in you are seeing what he is capable of."
Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce:
"I can accept getting beat, what I can't accept is players not putting their boots on, not turning up.
"We did not do enough with the ball or without it and we got exactly what we deserved from the game - nothing. I can't remember a chance, I can't remember a cross going into their box, and the number of times we gave the ball away was totally unacceptable.
"Everything was set up for us after our late winner against Wigan at the weekend and I thought we would go into the game bouncing, but it never happened.
"Norwich were on the back of a tough run but we didn't put them under any pressure at all. You have got to play at a certain level if you want to play for Aston Villa and they didn't come anywhere near to reaching that.
"Having seen that I can see why the club decided to make a change and bring me in."
- 18MulumbuSubstituted forTetteyat 74'minutes
- 22MurphySubstituted forNaismithat 82'minutes
- 12BradyBooked at 26mins
- 9OliveiraSubstituted forLaffertyat 88'minutes
- 40GrealishSubstituted forMcCormackat 73'minutes
- 10J AyewSubstituted forGestedeat 80'minutes
- 11AgbonlahorSubstituted forAdomahat 73'minutes
- Tim Robinson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Norwich City 1, Aston Villa 0.
Corner, Aston Villa. Conceded by John Ruddy.
Attempt saved. Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) right footed shot from a difficult angle on the left is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Rudy Gestede with a headed pass.
Robbie Brady (Norwich City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Alan Hutton (Aston Villa).
Attempt blocked. Kyle Lafferty (Norwich City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Martin Olsson.
Graham Dorrans (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa).
Substitution, Norwich City. Kyle Lafferty replaces Nélson Oliveira.
Alexander Tettey (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Rudy Gestede (Aston Villa).
Offside, Aston Villa. Tommy Elphick tries a through ball, but Ross McCormack is caught offside.
Martin Olsson (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa).
Attempt blocked. Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ross McCormack.
Foul by Steven Naismith (Norwich City).
Mile Jedinak (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Norwich City. Steven Naismith replaces Jacob Murphy.
Offside, Aston Villa. Mile Jedinak tries a through ball, but Jonathan Kodjia is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Jacob Murphy (Norwich City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Robbie Brady.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Rudy Gestede replaces Jordan Ayew.
Attempt missed. Ross McCormack (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left from a direct free kick.
Foul by Graham Dorrans (Norwich City).
Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Jacob Murphy (Norwich City).
Ashley Westwood (Aston Villa) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Norwich City. Conceded by Mile Jedinak.
Attempt blocked. Robbie Brady (Norwich City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jacob Murphy.
Jonny Howson (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Dangerous play by Tommy Elphick (Aston Villa).
Hand ball by Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa).
Ivo Pinto (Norwich City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Jordan Ayew (Aston Villa).
Substitution, Norwich City. Alexander Tettey replaces Youssouf Mulumbu.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Ross McCormack replaces Jack Grealish.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Albert Adomah replaces Gabriel Agbonlahor.
Attempt missed. Nélson Oliveira (Norwich City) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Jacob Murphy.
Attempt missed. Jacob Murphy (Norwich City) right footed shot from the right side of the box misses to the left.
Foul by Martin Olsson (Norwich City).