Championship round-up: Aston Villa put five past Bristol City
Scott Hogan and Conor Hourihane on target as Villa make it two wins in three days
Aston Villa’s Conor Hourihane celebrates after scoring their fifth goal during the Sky Bet Championship match against Bristol City at Villa Park. Photograph: Scott Heavey/PA Wire
Robert Snodgrass bagged a brace as Aston Villa made it two wins in three days after thrashing promotion hopefuls Bristol City 5-0.
Republic of Ireland striker Scott Hogan opened the scoring midway through the first half for Villa – who defeated Middlesbrough on Saturday – before Snodgrass struck in the 34th minute and then again on the hour to leave the Robins reeling.
City could have moved up to second in the standings with a win but they slip a place to fourth after shipping two more goals, with substitute Birkir Bjarnason (72) and Irish midfielder Conor Hourihane (85) completing the rout as Villa moved up to fifth.
Leon Clarke denied Derby the chance to eat into Sky Bet Championship leaders Wolves’ advantage as Sheffield United claimed a point at Pride Park.
Matej Vydra had fired the home side into a 24th-minute lead from the penalty spot after George Baldock had fouled Johnny Russell, but Clarke’s header 12 minutes after the restart secured a 1-1 draw and cost the second-placed Rams two precious points.
Fourth-placed Cardiff were also unable to defend a lead and suffered a fourth defeat in a row as they went down 2-1 at lowly QPR.
It proved a frustrating afternoon too for Leeds, who were held to a 0-0 draw by Nottingham Forest at Elland Road as they failed to bounce back from Saturday’s defeat at bottom-of-the-table Birmingham.
Middlesbrough were the big winners as they climbed to within a point of the play-off places courtesy of new manager Tony Pulis’s first victory in a five-goal thriller at Preston.
Central defender Daniel Ayala scored twice, giving the visitors the lead before Callum Robinson levelled and then after Jordan Hugill and Jonny Howson had traded goals, winning it with a 73rd-minute header.
Sheffield Wednesday’s dreadful run of form continued as they lost for the fifth time in six games at home to struggling Burton.
There was joy too for Bolton, who eased themselves out of the bottom three with a 1-0 victory over Hull with Gary Madine’s first-half free-kick doing the damage.
But Sunderland’s plight deepened as they slipped back into the drop zone after a 1-0 home defeat by Barnsley.
Ethan Pinnock was the Tykes’ hero with a 47th-minute header from Ezekiel Fryers’s cross.
Elsewhere, James Maddison was Norwich’s match-winner as they came from behind to see off Millwall 2-1 at Carrow Road.