Jonathan Kodjia’s winner against Millwall was his eighth Championship goal of the season

Dominant Aston Villa beat struggling Millwall to strengthen their grip on a play-off position with a record-breaking 10th successive win.

Jonathan Kodjia stabbed home Anwar El Ghazi’s cross from close range to break a club record that has stood since 1910.

Kodjia, El Ghazi, Jack Grealish and substitute Andre Green all missed chances to make the margin of victory more comfortable.

The win extends fifth-placed Villa’s cushion over Bristol City in seventh to nine points, although the Robins have two games in hand, while Millwall remain 21st.

Villa’s 2-1 defeat at The Den in October’s corresponding fixture – their sole game under the caretaker stewardship of Kevin MacDonald following Steve Bruce’s sacking – left them languishing 15th in the Championship.

They continued to hover around mid-table for much of the early part of Dean Smith’s reign but their stunning recent form has all-but secured a play-off spot in a season most Villa fans were preparing to write off.

That successful sequence has owed much to the creativity of Grealish – since his return from injury – and the goals of Chelsea loanee Tammy Abraham, but it was the supporting cast that shone against Millwall.

With Abraham sidelined by a shoulder issue, Ivory Coast forward Kodjia made the most of a rare start, his first in two months, with a poacher’s finish set up by the excellent El Ghazi to ensure this Villa side’s place in club folklore.

They should have won more comfortably but Millwall keeper David Martin produced a string of second-half saves, two from El Ghazi and one each from Grealish and Green, while Kodjia prodded wide after a fine solo run.

The visitors – three points above 22nd-placed Rotherham in the fight to avoid the final Championship relegation spot – could have snatched a point but Jake Cooper headed wide as Villa keeper Jed Steer failed to meet a free-kick.



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