London - Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert was
forced to settle for a 1-1 draw in his grudge match with former club
Norwich after Michael Turner bagged a late equaliser for the Canaries on
Lambert and Norwich are suing each other for breach of
contract following his acrimonious move from Carrow Road to Villa Park
in the close-season and the Scot admitted this week he hasn't spoken to
Canaries chairman Alan Bowkett for two years.
It looked as though
Lambert would have the last laugh on his old employers when Belgian
striker Christian Benteke fired the hosts into the lead in the first
half at Villa Park.
But Villa defender Joe Bennett was sent off
for two bookings after the break and Norwich made their numerical
advantage count when defender Turner headed his first goal for the club
with 11 minutes remaining.
The draw keeps Norwich one point ahead
of Villa but both clubs, with just a single win apiece this season, are
still too close to the relegation zone for comfort.
preferred Benteke to Darren Bent as he dropped the England striker for
the third time in four games and the gamble paid off as the Belgian
scored only his second goal for Villa since his pre-season move from
Benteke struck in the 27th minute as Villa took the lead against the run of play.
Agbonlahor held the ball up before releasing the overlapping Brett
Holman and his cross picked out Benteke, who kept his cool to slot a
fine finish past John Ruddy.
But Villa defender Bennett became the
first player to be yellow carded for a challenge on Elliott Bennett and
he saw red seven minutes after the break for anoher foul on the same
Norwich were well on top by then and Chris Hughton's side,
1-0 winners over Arsenal in their last match, were rewarded for their
pressure in the 79th minute.
Brad Guzan had just made a good save
to deny Grant Holt's low drive, but Norwich kept pressing and Turner
glanced home a header from Anthony Pilkington's cross to leave Villa
with only one win from their last 19 league matches.