Barnsley travelled from South Yorkshire to meet Aston Villa in the B6, but they have must have thought they had taken an easyJet to:
Brucealona— James Rushton (@Jamorushton) January 20, 2018
By no means was it the equivalent of a nice holiday for Paul Heckingbottom’s side as Aston Villa got off to a flying start.It took just five minutes for the claret and blue to open the day’s account.
Scott Hogan put his right foot onto Ahmed Elmohamady’s cross into the box and found the bottom corner:
The first goal by @ScottHogan_9 pic.twitter.com/O5yL44ND1p— Hassan Elkhafagi (@HassanElkhafagi) January 20, 2018
Just two minutes later, Hogan got his second when he headed home Robert Snodgrass’ corner. That goal put Aston Villa up 2-0 and marked the striker’s fourth goal in his last 173 minutes!
The first minutes of the match were not for the faint of heart as Barnsley pulled one back almost immediately in the 10th minute.
Frenchman Dimitri Cavaré’s strong header on Stephan Mallan’s corner would have taken a phenomenal stop to prevent it from finding the back of the net. It was not the best marking from Aston Villa, but fortunately that fact would be quickly forgotten.
The next few minutes saw half-chances from the Tykes via Mallan and Kiefer Moore. However, in the 19th minute the claret and blue all but put it to bed.
Hourihane goal 3-1 #avfc pic.twitter.com/WWFKauGRx9— villareport (@villareport) January 20, 2018
Just look at the quality from both Jack Grealish and Conor Hourihane. Both were outstanding on the day and the latter scored his seventh Championship goal against his former club - Jack Grimse was spot on.
That was that in terms of the scoring at Villa Park. Though the match was not without plenty of action following the quick fire start.
On a better day, James Chester would have found the back of the net with his uncontested header in the 23rd minute. Scott Hogan nearly had a deserved hat-trick when he hit the post in the 51st minute.
Those two notable moments aside, both Villa and Barnsley had plenty of chances to add more goals as the match saw a total of 34 shots. Each club finished with an even six shots on target.
With that said, it was another fine performance Sam Johnstone as well. Villa’s hopefully permanent keeps – fingers crossed - tallied five quality saves.
Sure more details could be added, but they would be all inconsequential. In the end, Steve Bruce and Aston Villa made it 12/12 in their last four.
Today’s win, marked with Derby’s loss last night at Pride Park, sees Villa go third! With what should be a winnable run of fixtures ahead, Villans would not be ridiculous to start thinking about automatic promotion.
THIS STORY HAS BEEN UPDATED: Our very own Robb Jones pointed out that the choice of music to sum up Aston Villa’s impressive 3-1 victory was done in naiveté of this fact:
this is legit one of the most impressive things on the internet pic.twitter.com/tfrG6y3JQn— David Marek (@oohblackdiamond) January 20, 2018
Credit goes out to the internet sleuths who used their time to find such invaluable information.
Furthermore, the claret and blue actually sit fourth in the table as Cardiff City were able to get a point in Saturday’s late game at Hillsborough. Though Villa do remain just three points behind second place Derby County.
The next match for Steve Bruce’s men is away at Sheffield United on the 30th of January.