Irish hopeful Hogan nets first goal for Villa in five-star rout of Bristol
Scott Hogan's first Championship goal for Aston Villa at Villa Park sparked an impressive Sky Bet Championship 5-0 win over shell-shocked Bristol City yesterday.
Following a depressing December when they only won one game, Villa began the new year on a bright note and moved back into the top six with their best win of the season.
Ireland hopeful Hogan's 23rd minute goal changed the whole game and it was followed by two further goals from Robert Snodgrass and late strikes from Birkir Bjarnason and Conor Hourihane as Villa won their seventh successive home game against City.
Meanwhile, Derby County missed the chance to close the gap to leaders Wolverhampton Wanderers to seven points after Leon Clarke earned Sheffield United a 1-1 draw at Pride Park in the Championship yesterday.
It was one goal each for the top goalscorers in England's second tier as Matej Vydra scored from the spot to put the home side in front, before Clarke headed a second-half equaliser to take his tally to 15 for the season, one ahead of Vydra.
Middlesbrough were the big winners as they climbed to within a point of the play-off places as new manager Tony Pulis enjoyed his first victory in the job, with his side edging a 3-2 thriller at Preston North End.
Fourth-placed Cardiff City's promotion bid continued to falter as they suffered a fourth defeat in a row after a 2-1 loss at lowly Queens Park Rangers.
It also proved to be a frustrating afternoon for Leeds United, who were held to a 0-0 draw by managerless Nottingham Forest at Elland Road.
Sheffield Wednesday's poor run of form continued as they lost for the fifth time in six games at home to struggling Burton Albion.
There was joy too for Bolton Wanderers, who eased themselves out of the bottom three with a 1-0 victory over Hull City, with Gary Madine's first half free kick the difference between the sides.
Sunderland's plight deepened as they slipped back into the bottom three after a 1-0 home defeat by Barnsley, while James Maddison was Norwich City's match-winner as they came from behind to see off Millwall 2-1 at Carrow Road.