Dean Smith's promising reign at Aston Villa continues as they secured a 3-o victory away to Middlesborough in their Championship clash today at the Riverside Stadium.
It means Villa have scored 17 goals in five games and are now just three points off the playoffs. Goals from James Chester and Tammy Abraham put them on their way while a well-struck Glenn Whelan effort topped it off late in the game.
It was a difficult day for Darren Randolph. The Irish keeper was caught in no-mans land for the opening goal as he struggled to deal with Jack Grealish's corner.
He was at fault again for the third goal, failing to collect Whelan's shot and allowing it squirm over the line.
It is was also a superb afternoon for Irish midfielder Conor Hourihane, who was named Man of the Match.
🍾🍾 @SkyBetChamp Man of the Match:@AVFCOfficial’s Conor Hourihane
Assist for 3rd goal
6 for the season - no player has more
22 since Aug 2016 - most of any @SkyBetChamp player
2nd most passes completed
Highest passing accuracy
— Sky Sports Statto (@SkySportsStatto) December 1, 2018
The result is a disappointing one for Tony Pulis's side, who saw the top two pull further away as Leeds defeated Sheffield United while Norwich overcame Rotherham.