Football Expert & Columnist
Aston Villa 4-1 Norwich: Win for Paul Lambert's side ends relegation fears, says Carra
Jamie Carragher reckons Aston Villa have secured Premier League survival by thrashing Norwich.
Last Updated: 03/03/14 1:07pm
Villa recovered from falling a goal behind after three minutes to head into the interval with a 4-1 advantage, something they maintained in the second half to move seven points clear of the bottom three.
Christian Benteke (2) and Leandro Bacuna netted for the home side before Canaries defender Sebastien Bassong knocked into his own net to put a gloss on the scoreline.
And Sky Sports pundit Carragher thinks Villa are now destined to stay in the top flight as the teams beneath them will be unable to reel them back into the relegation dogfight.
"Benteke kept Villa up last season and the two goals he got here have kept them up this season, for me, as I don't see them getting dragged back down there now," he said.
"They are pretty clear of the bottom three and you would think they would pick up at least another four, six, eight points between now and the end of the season.
"I don't think the teams below them are picking up enough points to bridge that gap, but I would say that two more wins is the most Villa will need."
On the goal-infested game at Villa Park, the former Liverpool defender added: "Norwich didn't deserve to be going in at half time 4-1 down - for the first 25 minutes Villa were awful - but the atmosphere in the stadium completely changed when Benteke made it 1-1.
"And when Norwich were chasing the game that played in to Villa's hands what with the counter-attacking abilities that they have got.
"Villa are not the sort of side to thread a nice pass through, they are all about pace and power, and we have seen that with a lot of the goals today."
Chris Hughton appeared to dampen speculation about his future by guiding Norwich to victory at home to Tottenham last week and Carragher hopes the rumour mill does not start up again following City's heavy defeat in the Midlands.
The ex-England centre back says the Canaries - four points above 18th-placed Sunderland, albeit having played a game more - have performed well in their last two fixtures.
And he feels that despite facing Liverpool, Manchester United, Chelsea and Arsenal in their final four games, the East Anglian outfit could secure their Premier League life long before then.
"There should be no talk about Hughton's job and I don't understand why there has been as Norwich are not rooted to the foot of the table and are not in the bottom three," said Carragher.
"They were impressive against Tottenham last week and aside from a crazy 15-minute spell when their centre-backs were bullied, they were impressive against Villa this week.
"If they do what they need to do in their next three home games - against Stoke, Sunderland and West Brom - that could keep them up, as it would make them uncatchable by the teams below them."