Middlesbrough 0 Aston Villa 3: Abraham strikes as Randolph errors cost hosts
Tammy Abraham scored his 11th Championship goal of the season as Aston Villa recorded an impressive 3-0 away win over promotion rivals Middlesbrough.
In-form Villa now have 13 points from their last five games, while a first defeat in eight for third-placed Boro, who were hindered by a dire performance from goalkeeper Darren Randolph, left the hosts five points adrift of leaders Norwich City.
Dean Smith's men are eighth in the table and within three points of the play-off places.
Randolph produced a superb stop to keep out an early first-time effort from Abraham and the striker who netted four goals against Nottingham Forest last time out was frustrated again when he had a strong penalty claim rejected after a challenge from George Friend.
But Villa moved ahead after 20 minutes, Randolph poorly attempting to punch clear a Jack Grealish corner, allowing away captain James Chester to convert from close range.
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Villa's second arrived after 64 minutes, man-of-the-moment Abraham sliding in to convert from inside the six-yard box after Yannick Bolasie's shot across the face of goal.
The closest Boro came to a goal was when Villa keeper Orjan Nyland brilliantly tipped a powerful Jordan Hugill strike onto the crossbar late on.
But a miserable evening for Tony Pulis was summed up when his former Stoke City player Glenn Whelan somehow beat Randolph with a long-range shot straight at the goalkeeper, his 83rd-minute strike coming just 55 seconds after he was introduced as a substitute.