Match ends, Rotherham United 0, Aston Villa 2.
Aston Villa eased to their third straight win to heap more misery on Championship bottom club Rotherham.
Millers defender Will Vaulks turned in Albert Adomah's ball across the face of goal to give Villa a deserved lead.
Jonathan Kodjia sealed victory late on, firing a shot in off the post from the edge of the area.
Rotherham keeper Lewis Price made a string of fine saves to limit the damage as Villa chalked up their third win in eight days.
It was also their third successive clean sheet - and the first time since April 2010, when Martin O'Neill was still in charge, that Villa have won three league games on the trot.
Villa went after the Football League's leakiest defence straight from the kick-off, as Price saved Conor Hourihane's low shot and denyied Adomah when one-on-one, before defender Aymen Belaid hooked Adomah's lob off the line.
The visitors' failure to put the result beyond doubt almost came back to haunt them as Anthony Forde tested Villa keeper Sam Johnstone with a low effort. But Villa held off a spirited fightback to condemn the hosts to their ninth home defeat of the season.
Villa's first away win in five league matches - and only their third of the season - lifted them two places to 13th, while Rotherham's ninth game without a win left them 18 points adrift of safety with only 11 matches left.
Rotherham interim boss Paul Warne:
"We are doing everything to stop the rot, so as long as people can appreciate it. Hand on heart, they were better than us and deserved to win.
"My job and remit off the chairman is to win as many games as I can and send the fans home happy. The lads gave me everything but it wasn't enough to get the goals to win.
"I don't claim to be a super manager. The lads are giving me everything they have got, but we haven't possibly got that little bit of class."
Aston Villa manager Steve Bruce:
"When I look back at the Ipswich and Nottingham Forest games, we did enough to win. We had 50 shots on goal and I thought this was going to be something similar.
"We had missed so many opportunities, we could have been three up in the first half. In the end it took an own goal to make the breakthrough.
"I was always confident we could get one because of the law of averages, but there was a nagging worry that it might be another one of those afternoons."
- 2KellySubstituted forSmallwoodat 18'minutes
- 26BelaidBooked at 62mins
- 11TaylorSubstituted forNewellat 60'minutes
- 9WardSubstituted forFrecklingtonat 45'minutesBooked at 49mins
- 20BjarnasonSubstituted forGrealishat 33'minutesSubstituted forAmaviat 44'minutes
- 26KodjiaSubstituted forDavisat 89'minutes
- Steve Martin
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Rotherham United 0, Aston Villa 2.
Offside, Rotherham United. Aimen Belaid tries a through ball, but Joe Newell is caught offside.
Foul by Richard Smallwood (Rotherham United).
Jordan Amavi (Aston Villa) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Substitution, Aston Villa. Keinan Davis replaces Jonathan Kodjia.
Goal! Rotherham United 0, Aston Villa 2. Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) right footed shot from the left side of the box to the bottom left corner. Assisted by Conor Hourihane following a fast break.
Joe Newell (Rotherham United) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Henri Lansbury (Aston Villa).
Attempt blocked. Anthony Forde (Rotherham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked.
Attempt blocked. Lee Frecklington (Rotherham United) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Jerry Yates.
Attempt blocked. Jonathan Kodjia (Aston Villa) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Jordan Amavi.
Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Conor Hourihane.
Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Mile Jedinak.
Corner, Rotherham United. Conceded by Sam Johnstone.
Attempt saved. Anthony Forde (Rotherham United) left footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Aimen Belaid.
Attempt blocked. Anthony Forde (Rotherham United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lee Frecklington.
Attempt missed. Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) left footed shot from the left side of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Albert Adomah with a headed pass.
Offside, Aston Villa. Neil Taylor tries a through ball, but Jonathan Kodjia is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Conor Hourihane (Aston Villa) left footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Henri Lansbury.