Aston Villa 1-0 Millwall: Jonathan Kodjia earns record-breaking 10th straight win

Jonathan Kodjia.

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.

Line-ups

Aston Villa

  • 12Steer
  • 27El Mohamady
  • 15Jedinak
  • 40Mings
  • 3TaylorBooked at 81mins
  • 6WhelanSubstituted forHourihaneat 60′minutes
  • 37AdomahSubstituted forGreenat 60′minutes
  • 7McGinn
  • 10Grealish
  • 22El Ghazi
  • 26KodjiaSubstituted forDavisat 76′minutesBooked at 85mins

Substitutes

  • 8Lansbury
  • 14Hourihane
  • 17Davis
  • 19Green
  • 20Bjarnason
  • 24Elphick
  • 33Sarkic

Millwall

  • 16Martin
  • 12RomeoSubstituted forElliottat 89′minutes
  • 15Pearce
  • 5CooperBooked at 27mins
  • 3MeredithSubstituted forO’Brienat 64′minutesBooked at 90mins
  • 44Marshall
  • 28Leonard
  • 18TunnicliffeSubstituted forMorisonat 79′minutes
  • 11Ferguson
  • 7Wallace
  • 9Gregory

Substitutes

  • 2McLaughlin
  • 6Williams
  • 13Amos
  • 19Elliott
  • 20Morison
  • 22O’Brien
  • 26Skalak
Referee:
Tim Robinson

Match Stats

Home TeamAston VillaAway TeamMillwall
Possession
Home61%
Away39%
Shots
Home18
Away13
Shots on Target
Home7
Away1
Corners
Home12
Away3
Fouls
Home17
Away8

Live Text

Full Time

Booking

Substitution

Booking

Booking

Substitution

Substitution

goal

World Championship 2019: Shaun Murphy records 10-0 win at Crucible

Betfred World Snooker Championship
Venue: Crucible Theatre, Sheffield Dates: 20 April-6 May
Coverage: Watch live on BBC One, BBC Two, Red Button, iPlayer, Connected TV, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app.

Ex-champion Shaun Murphy earned a record-equalling 10-0 first-round win over Luo Honghao, as the Chinese qualifier scored the fewest points in the Crucible’s 43-year history.

The world number 92 managed a tally of only 89, 102 short of the previous low.

Elsewhere, world number two Mark Selby trails qualifier Zhao Xintong 5-3 after their opening session.

But Murphy had no such concerns in demolishing Luo, inflicting only the second World Championship whitewash.

The only previous instance was veteran Eddie Charlton’s 10-0 loss to John Parrott in 1992.

Luo’s exit saw the 19-year-old register a new lowest points tally at the Sheffield venue. Danny Fowler had held the record by scoring 191 in losing 10-1 to seven-time champion Stephen Hendry in 1993.

Murphy, who will face 2010 champion Neil Robertson in the last 16, said: “Everyone was talking about the record and it was in the back of my mind that I could make a bit of history.”

The 2005 champion led 9-0 overnight having scored four centuries, including a tournament-high break of 138.

When play resumed Luo, 19, missed a couple of chances to get a frame on the board before Murphy got over the line with a break of 59.

Shaun Murphy v Luo Honghao graphic

“It’s been the worst season of my life,” added 36-year-old Murphy, who has only once gone beyond the third round of a ranking event this season, reaching the Scottish Open final in December and losing to Mark Allen.

“This a very special place. It’s the holy ground for snooker players and it gets your juices flowing. Maybe that is the spark.

“I have had a season to forget but I am trying to turn the ship around. There are glimmers of good form but I am not getting ahead of myself.”

Selby struggles

Three-time world champion Selby recovered from a dismal start but is still in danger of a shock first-round exit for a second successive year.

The out-of-sorts Leicester man fell 3-0 behind to Zhao following a scrappy beginning, but scored a century in the fourth to make it 3-1.

World number 67 Zhao capitalised on some increasingly sloppy play to go 5-1 up, but Selby’s characteristic fighting qualities saw him take the last two frames of the session – including a wonderful ton in frame eight – despite being nowhere near his best.

Their match will conclude at 19:00 BST.

Tournament favourite and five-time former winner Ronnie O’Sullivan starts his tournament against amateur James Cahill at 14:30 BST, while John Higgins, a four-time champion in Sheffield, plays to a finish in his meeting with fellow veteran Mark Davis.

Analysis

Stephen Hendry, seven-time world champion

Selby’s game was littered with unforced errors and he has been playing with zero confidence. He is not timing the ball at all.

Kash Ali gets six-month ban for biting David Price

A bite mark on David Price's torso

Kash Ali has been given a six-month ban for biting David Price during their all-British heavyweight fight.

Ali had his boxing licence suspended and his fight purse withdrawn after being disqualified in the fifth round of the bout in Liverpool on 30 March.

Confirming the ban, a British Boxing Board of Control spokesman told BBC Sport Ali had also been fined £10,000.

The 27-year-old apologised after the fight, saying his behaviour was not a “true reflection of who I am”.

The biting incident happened after Price had landed a stinging shot on Ali, sparking a grapple. The fighters fell to the floor and Ali appeared to bite his 35-year-old opponent near his rib cage.

Price – who has said he thinks Ali “wanted to get thrown out” of the fight – claimed he had been bitten him “a couple of times” in earlier rounds and left with bite marks on his neck.

Speaking on 3 April, Ali said: “I am hugely embarrassed for my actions and the way the whole fight unfolded.

“I expressed my regret from the moment it happened, and even more so now.”

Raheem Sterling to pay for Damary Dawkins' funeral

Raheem Sterling during England's 5-0 win over Czech Republic

Raheem Sterling will pay for the funeral of Crystal Palace youth player Damary Dawkins, who died in March aged 13.

Manchester City winger Sterling supported a campaign to find a suitable stem cell donor for Damary, who had acute lymphoblastic leukaemia.

“Damary was a special young man who touched a lot of lives, including my own,” Sterling said.

The England international, 24, plans to attend the funeral on Friday.

He described Damary as “an example to us all” who was “positive until the end”.

The teenager’s family had set up a GoFundMe page to raise £15,000 to give Damary the “best send off and celebration of life”.

In March, Sterling lifted his shirt to reveal a picture of the two of them together after scoring his second goal in England’s 5-0 win over the Czech Republic.

Damary Dawkins picture

Damary’s father, Tony, said Sterling’s shirt tribute was “very, very touching”.

“I knew they used to speak because [Sterling] came down to the hospital,” he said. “They played pool together and apparently they swapped numbers.”

“I remember when Crystal Palace played Manchester City and they lost – Damary put on his tracksuit with the Crystal Palace badge and took a picture to send to Raheem. They had banter with each other.”