Scott Hogan and Conor Hourihane guide Aston Villa to three points
Irish duo were both on the scoresheet in Villa’s 3-1 home win over Barnsley
Scott Hogan netted twice for Aston Villa in their win over Barnsley. Photo: Getty Images
Aston Villa 3 Barnsley 1
Scott Hogan was Aston Villa’s match winner with two goals in two minutes to pave the way to a 3-1 Championship home win over Barnsley.
Hogan, who has now scored four goals in his last three games, struggled in the early part of the season but he destroyed Barnsley in the opening 10 minutes to send a strong message to manager Steve Bruce that he does not require another striker.
The Republic of Ireland international was on the mark in the fifth minute when he converted a pass from Robert Snodgrass.
Two minutes later the pair combined again when Hogan headed home a Snodgrass corner to the consternation of the travelling Barnsley fans.
Villa allowed Barnsley to get back into the game with a goal from Dimitri Cavare.
In a pulsating start, which produced four goals in the opening 19 minutes, Villa then regained the initiative when Conor Hourihane notched Villa’s third against his old club.
A confident Villa went into the game looking for their fourth successive league win to boost their promotion prospects which have certainly been enhanced with Hogan’s recent goalscoring exploits.
Barnsley, with only one win in their last 12 games, were looking to improve their lowly position but when Hogan scored twice in quick succession their prospects were not very bright.
The Tykes had only won four of their last 20 away games since beating Villa 3-1 in the corresponding match last February.
But they were behind after just five minutes when Hogan moved smartly on to a Snodgrass pass to slide his shot low into the net past Adam Davies, who could do little to prevent Hogan heading home his second two minutes later from a Snodgrass corner.
Barnsley’s reply was a powerful header from Cavare to convert a Stevie Mallan corner only for Villa to hit back when Hourihane latched onto a Jack Grealish pass to slot home an opportunist goal in the 19th minute.
Hogan should have completed his hat-trick early in the second half when he shot wide of an open goal from close range, while Hourihane wasted a similar opportunity.
Elsewhere, leaders Wolves were stunned 2-0 by Nottingham Forest at Molineux.
Kieran Dowell and Ben Osborn were on target for Aitor Karanka’s Forest side.
Millwall won a quite incredible game against Leeds 4-3 at Elland Road.
Aiden O’Brien put the Lions ahead and when home captain Liam Cooper was sent off, it was three red cards in as many games for the hosts,
Lee Gregory then scored to seemingly put the game to bed, before Pierre-Michel Lasogga got Leeds back in it.
Kemar Roofe then scrambled an equaliser and Lasogga thought he had won it with a 25-yard effort. But Tom Elliott levelled three minutes from time and Jed Wallace secured the win in time added on.
Sheffield United enjoyed a 2-1 triumph on the road at Norwich.
Manchester United loanee James Wilson opened the scoring and Clayton Donaldson added a second. Ivo Pinto replied but it was not enough.
Ben Davies’ goal put Preston ahead against Birmingham, only for Sam Gallagher to earn City a 1-1 draw, while Tony Pulis and Middlesbrough won on the road at QPR thanks to goals from Daniel Ayala, George Friend and Adama Traore.
Joel Asoro’s goal proved enough for struggling Sunderland as they pulled Hull closer to trouble with a 1-0 win, while Gary Madine’s for Bolton was replied to by Joe Garner as they drew 1-1 with Ipswich.
Brentford won 1-0 at Reading thanks to Lasse Vibe’s goal.