MX23RW : Friday, July 30 18:31:35| >> :60:3429:3429:
Jan 1, 2018 at 5.30pm UK at Villa Park
Attendance: 32,604
Aston Villa
Bristol City
Hogan (23'), Snodgrass (34', 60'), Bjarnason (72'), Hourihane (85')
FT(HT: 2-0)

Result: Aston Villa thrash Bristol City to close gap on rivals

Result: Villa thrash Bristol City to close gap
© Offside
Bristol City lose 5-0 to Aston Villa at Villa Park to see the gap on their promotion rivals reduced to just three points.

Aston Villa have defeated Bristol City 5-0 at Villa Park to make it two wins in a row and close the gap on their automatic promotion rivals.

The Villans ran riot in the West Midlands, scoring twice in the first half and adding a few more in the second 45 minutes.

A sixth victory in seven home meetings with the Robins lifts Villa up to fifth place in the Championship standings - three points behind their opponents, who have now suffered back-to-back losses.

City made a bright enough start to the contest, with Marlon Pack flashing a shot wide and Josh Brownhill doing likewise from a similar position.

Scott Hogan opened the scoring for the hosts a quarter of the way into the match, though, as he climbed highest to direct a header beyond replacement goalkeeper Luke Steele.

Villa had a penalty shout rejected soon after when the ball hit Bailey Wright's hand, but they did not have to wait long for a second as Robert Snodgrass scored his first of the evening by firing home from the rebound after Hogan's attempt was saved.

Jack Grealish then curled the ball against the bar as Villa's quality continued to show, though it was so nearly game on when Aden Flint had an effort cleared off the line by Mile Jedinak.

The hosts took back control of the match and added a third and fourth goal, with Snodgrass cutting inside and placing the ball out of Steele's reach, while substitute Birkir Bjarnason kept his composure after being played through by Alan Hutton.

Conor Hourihane rounded off the scoring in the final five minutes, latching on to a loose ball and sending a deflected shot beyond Steele's reach.

Aston Villa (4-1-4-1): Johnstone; Elmohamady, Elphick, Chester, Hutton; Jedinak; Snodgrass, Hourihane, Grealish (O'Hare 80'), Adomah (Bjarnason 70'); Hogan (Hepburn-Murphy 83')

Bristol City (4-4-1-1): Steele; Wright, Flint, Baker, Magnusson (Kelly 46'); Brownhill, Smith, Pack (Taylor 46'), Bryan; Reid; Paterson (Woodrow 79')

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Aston Villa manager Steve 'Cheggars' Bruce gestures on the touchline during his side's Championship clash with Birmingham City on October 30, 2016
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Saturday's key events

· After silvers in both the men's and women's events, Team GB will be fancied to get on the podium again in the mixed relay (11.30pm-1am)

· Touted as Michael Phelps's successor, Caeleb Dressel already has two gold medals from these Games and he will be going for a third in the men's 50m butterfly final (2.30am)
· It is Katie Ledecky vs. Ariarne Titmus III in the women's 800m freestyle final, with Ledecky entering as firm favourite (2.46am)
· Great Britain will be heavily fancied to add another gold medal to their swimming haul, having produced by far the fastest qualifying time for the mixed 4x100m medley relay final (3.43am)

· Dina Asher-Smith is one of three British women in the 100m semi-finals (3.01am-3.20am), and will hope to challenge for a medal in what is likely to be a star-studded final (1.50pm)
· The inaugural Olympic 4x400m mixed relay event concludes with Great Britain one of the eight finalists going for gold (1.35pm)

· Team GB's dreams of an unlikely gold are still alive in the women's event as they face France in their semi-final (3.30am). The winners will face either New Zealand or Fiji in the gold medal match later in the day (10am)

· Gold medals are up for grabs in the windsurfer - RS:X finals. Emma Wilson participates for Team GB in the women's final (6.33am), while Tom Squires is in action in the men's (7.33am)

· Following his shock semi-final defeat, ending his hopes of a Golden Slam in 2021, Novak Djokovic battles for bronze against Pablo Carreno Busta (7am)
· The women's singles event reaches its conclusion with the gold medal match between Belinda Bencic and Marketa Vondrousova

> Today's schedule in full
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