Aston Villa 1-0 Millwall: Dean Smith's men record club-record 10th successive win
Last Updated: 22/04/19 7:52pm
Aston Villa secured a 10th successive win for the first time in the club's history with a 1-0 Sky Bet Championship victory against Millwall at Villa Park.
Jonathan Kodjia's goal in the 30th minute secured their memorable win and all but assured Villa of a place in the play-offs.
Villa had been languishing in mid-table before starting their amazing run, which has surpassed the previous best of nine consecutive victories set back in 1910.
While Villa are chasing promotion, Millwall are fighting desperately to avoid relegation and remain one place above the drop zone after seeing their four-game unbeaten run come to an end.
Villa, who were without 25-goal striker Tammy Abraham due to the shoulder injury he suffered in the Good Friday win at Bolton, dominated the early exchanges and should have broken the deadlock after nine minutes.
Jack Grealish floated over a corner and Anwar El Ghazi rose at the far post but placed his header wide from six yards.
Having successfully managed to weather the Villa storm, Millwall gained a foothold in the game and were denied the lead by a stunning save from goalkeeper Jed Steer in the 15th minute.
Villa's defence opened up in front of Jed Wallace and he strode towards the penalty area before letting fly with a fierce shot from 20 yards that Steer dived at full stretch to tip away for a corner.
Millwall then had a major let-off in the 28th minute when a back pass from Ryan Leonard was intercepted by Kodjia, who was then denied by a brave challenge at his feet by goalkeeper David Martin.
But there was nothing Martin could do to stop Kodjia two minutes later when he gave Villa the lead.
Kodjia bundled the ball home from the edge of the six-yard box after El Ghazi had rolled a low cross into the penalty area.
El Ghazi then almost turned from provider to goalscorer as he stung Martin's fingers with a 38th-minute free-kick following a foul on Grealish.
Kodjia created an excellent chance to double Villa's lead 11 minutes into the second half with a weaving run into the area, only to be let down by his finishing when he dragged his shot across the face of goal.
El Ghazi then had a shot blocked, while Grealish was frustrated by Martin and had an effort deflected wide as Villa laid siege to the Millwall goal.
Martin also tipped away a fierce drive from El Ghazi in the 79th minute, turned a volley from Andre Green over the bar six minutes from time and again kept out the Dutchman as Villa continued to dominate proceedings.
Dean Smith: "If you had asked me 11 games ago would we go and win the next 10 I would have thought you were a little bit crackers. The turning point was half-time at Stoke when I got into the players and we have been excellent since then.
"The players have been magnificent throughout. They have set standards and are taking great ownership of what they are doing at the moment. They are improving as players and we are improving as a team. We are hoping there are still five more games left for us this season and we are hoping we can win all five."
Neil Harris: "First and foremost we lost the game so I am a little bit dejected at this stage of the season. We should have had our noses in front and then it could have been a different game.
"The goal is poor by us and I will make no bones about that. We have a throw in and lose the first contact, the second ball, miss a tackle and then we open up against Villa who pick the right end product. The goal was avoidable so there is frustration."