A familiar man led a now-familiar story at Villa Park on Tuesday night, as Jonathan Kodjia fired fifth-minute goal to see Aston Villa through to their fourth straight victory and seventh win in eight, downing Queens Park Rangers 1-0.
It was a quick start for Villa, as Kodjia hit his 18th goal of the season to put the Claret and Blues ahead inside of five minutes. Villa had a couple chances to go 2-0 up before halftime, but all in all, a 1-0 halftime score probably properly reflected how the first half went.
Aided by a move to a five-man midfield, QPR made strides in the second half and moved onto the front foot, with a pair of headers in the 64th and 66th minutes issuing threats. But Villa got a foothold in the match just enough to keep Rangers at bay and, on one or two occasions, have chances to put it away.
Steve Bruce’s side didn’t manage that, though — as the best chance went without a shot on target when Alan Hutton’s cross was behind Scott Hogan and Jordan Amavi cleaned up to fire high — and were forced to see off one late Jamie Mackie chance in stoppage time before picking up the three points.
Andre Green was heavily involved in his few minutes on the pitch, while Kodjia made way at the start of stoppage time to help see out the result — and avoid picking up a second yellow card.
Elsewhere in the league, both Leeds United and Fulham lost (to Brentford 2-0 and Derby County 4-2, respectively), but a 2-0 Sheffield Wednesday victory away to Rotherham keeps Villa nine points back of the final playoff spot with just six matches remaining. It still seems likely the Claret and Blues would need the maximum haul to have a chance, and even then, it could not be enough.
Regardless, the feel-good momentum is continuing to build at Villa Park, and that’s only a good thing.