Aston Villa 5-0 Bristol City: Robert Snodgrass scores twice in rout
By Ben Grounds
Last Updated: 01/01/18 10:19pm
Aston Villa moved up to fifth in the Sky Bet Championship after high-flying Bristol City were thumped 5-0 at Villa Park.
Scott Hogan headed his first league goal since March to give Steve Bruce's side the lead (23) before Robert Snodgrass doubled Villa's advantage with a close-range finish (34).
Snodgrass put the game to bed on the hour mark following a sweeping move, before substitute Birkir Bjarnason extended the home side's lead just two minutes after coming off the bench (72).
Aston Villa: Johnstone (6), Elmohamady (7), Chester (7), Elphick (7), Hutton (6), Snodgrass (8), Hourihane (8), Jedinak (7), Adomah (8), Grealish (9), Hogan (8).
Subs: Bjarnason (7), Hepburn-Murphy (6), O'Hare (n/a)
Bristol City: Steele (6), Bryan (5), Wright (5), Flint (5), Baker (5), Magnusson (5), Brownhill (6), Smith (5), Pack (6), Reid (5), Paterson (5).
Subs: Taylor (5), Kelly (5), Woodrow (n/a)
Man of the match: Jack Grealish
Conor Hourihane completed the rout five minutes from time after Rushian Hepburn-Murphy's cross was deflected into his path, with City slumping to their heaviest defeat of the season.
Lee Johnson's Robins have slipped to fourth in the table, below Cardiff on goal difference, but they enjoyed the better of the opening exchanges as Marlon Pack saw his shot from the edge of the box whistle past the post.
But with Villa's first meaningful venture forward, Hogan rose to direct a brilliant header from Albert Adomah's cross beyond Steele and into the bottom corner.
Both sides opted to make just the one change to their line-ups. Aston Villa boss Steve Bruce selected Jack Grealish in place of Joshua Onomah. For Bristol City, Luke Steele replaced the suspended Frank Fielding in goal.
The goal lifted the home crowd and, after the impressive Jack Grealish had a shot blocked, the hosts duly doubled their lead. Hogan once more met an Adomah cross to flash a header on goal and, after Steele had kept out the striker's effort, Snodgrass was fastest to react to fire in the rebound.
The Robins made a double change at the interval in a desperate bid to reignite the contest, but Villa picked off their opponents on the counter-attack to stretch their lead with Grealish sliding the ball through for Snodgrass to curl in his second of the night.
With the game seemingly won, Villa boss Steve Bruce opted to replace the dangerous Adomah with Bjarnason and the Icelandic midfielder slotted home his first league goal for the club after being put through by Alan Hutton after 72 minutes.
There was still time for Villa to add a fifth as Hourihane completed a fine team move, sweeping past Steele after the ball broke to him on the edge of the box.
Man of the match: Jack Grealish
Grealish came in for the injured Josh Onomah in Villa's one change and the prodigious talent excelled after being given the freedom to roam.
The youngster produced two key passes, laid on one assist and created three chances during an instrumental display as Villa ran riot against the Robins.
Robert Snodgrass scored twice but it was Grealish's name being sung by the Holte End, and the 22-year-old was afforded a standing ovation when he was replaced with 11 minutes remaining.
Aston Villa host Peterborough in the FA Cup third round on Saturday, while Bristol City travel to face Watford at Vicarage Road on the same day in the competition.
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