Aston Villa 5-0 Bristol City - 01-Jan-2018 : Match Report
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.
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.
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.
It was only the visitors' second away defeat of the season, following an early season setback at Birmingham, and their 14th New Year's Day reverse in 16 matches.
The last minute defeat against top of the table Wolves in the previous game appeared to have taken a lot out of Lee Johnson's Carabao Cup semi-finalists.
Following a slow start Villa got into the holiday spirit and took the lead with their first effort on goal.
Albert Adomah provided a high left wing cross and veteran goalkeeper Luke Steele, standing in for the suspended Frank Fielding, was powerless to keep out Hogan's smart header.
The goal certainly changed the whole complexion of the game. Villa suddenly picked up the pace and City found themselves under persistent pressure - and 2-0 down in the 35th minute.
Adomah again produced another high cross from the left, Hogan's header appeared to be heading for the top far corner of the net but Steele made a brilliant save - only to knock the ball down to the alert Snodgrass to score for the second time in two days following his winner at Middlesbrough.
Villa were flying at this stage with Jack Grealish making a big impact. Just before half-time only the post prevented the young midfielder scoring a third goal against a City side in danger of being overrun.
In the second half City moved Aden Flint into the attack and he should have scored within three minutes, only to become entangled with substitute Matty Taylor.
But it was to no avail as Grealish-inspired Villa sealed the game, with Snodgrass getting his second goal of the contest.
Grealish made a long run before sliding the ball into the path of Snodgrass to score with a left-footed shot into the roof of the net.
The runaway win was completed when substitute Bjarnason latched onto a pass from Alan Hutton to notch an easy goal in trhe 72nd minute.
And Hourihane added a fifth five minutes from time, following a right-wing cross provided by substitute Rushian Hepburn-Murphy.