League One Wrap: Bristol City go top, Dons hit five
Steve Cotterill's side dominated from the outset at Ashton Gate and it did not take long for Aaron Wilbraham put them ahead with his fifth goal of the season.
Right-back Mark Little made it 2-0 from close range and Rovers had Harry Forrester sent off before Kieran Agard opened his account for City with a late piledriver.
The result lifted Cotterill’s side one point above previous leaders Peterborough United, who were held to a goalless draw by Notts County at London Road.
The visitors were indebted to Roy Carroll, the 36-year-old former Manchester United goalkeeper, who made a string of fine saves; one in particular to deny Kyle Vassell.
Barnsley's five-match unbeaten run was brought to a dramatic end as they were consigned to a 5-3 hammering by MK Dons at Oakwell.
Samir Carruthers scored one goal and had a hand in two others as the Dons raced into a 5-0 lead at Oakwell and although Barnsley rallied with late goals from Conor Hourihane [two] and Devante Cole, the damage had already been done.
Eoin Doyle scored a hat-trick to take his goal tally to the season to seven as newly-promoted Chesterfield beat Scunthorpe United 4-1 to stay level on points with the Dons - who occupy third spot.
Crewe Alexandra got their first points off the season with a 2-1 derby win over Port Vale, while Colchester United and Walsall secured their first league victories of the campaign by beating Leyton Orient 2-0 and Preston North End 3-1 respectively.
Coventry City beat Yeovil Town 2-1 to make it two wins out of two since returning to the Ricoh Arena, while Swindon Town won by the same scoreline at Bradford City.
Fleetwood Town fell to seventh following a 1-0 loss to mid-table Crawley Town and Jamal Campbell-Ryce scored the only goal late on as Sheffield United edged out Rochdale.
Oldham Athletic and Gillingham played out a goalless draw in the other game to be played on Saturday.