Aston Villa recovered from their midweek League Cup exit with a determined 2-1 victory over a lacklustre Hull City side.
Goals from Gabby Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann were enough to give the home side all three points despite a late reply from Nikica Jelavic.
Villa boss Paul Lambert decided to stick with the same side that drew with Newcastle last weekend and his newly rejuvenated side full of youth and experience were rampant in the first half.
On 14 minutes, Charles N'Zogbia picked up a loose ball 40 yards out on the right hand side. He cut inside onto his stronger left foot and laid the ball into the path of Weimann who flicked it into the path of Agbonlahor who spun off his marker and finished decisively into the bottom left corner past Hull keeper Alan McGregor.
With 36 minutes gone the home side doubled their lead this time with Agbonlahor turning provider. He picked the ball up on the left hand corner of the penalty area and played it down the line where Kieran Richardson fed an inch perfect pass into the feet of Weimann who took a touch before finishing coolly past McGregor.
The Villians had a chance to kill the game off four minutes before half time but Ashley Westwood’s 25 yard free kick hit the left hand post and bounced clear.
As good as Villa were in the first half, they completely switched off in the second and allowed Hull back into the game. City boss Steve Bruce brought on Liam Rosenior for his captain Curtis Davis which helped swing the game in the Tiger’s favour as they completely pinned the home side back. But despite all of their possession Hull created few chances on goal.
Finally, with 73 minutes gone, the game changed when a free kick, 30 yards out was whipped in left footed by substitute Robbie Brady. Striker Jelavic rose the highest to head home thanks to a couple of deflections.
This set up a nervy finish for Aston Villa who brought on 18 year old Jack Grealish for the final third of the game. The Irish youngster touched the ball six times, was fouled five times which resulted in yellow cards for Ahmed Elmohamady, Jelavic and Stephen Quinn.
As the match ticked into time added on, Villa captain Ron Vlaar was taken off with a calf injury but Hull failed to take advantage and Villa hung on for their second victory of the season; making it seven points from nine.
After the game Hull manager Steve Bruce described his side’s first half performance as “pathetic”, “lifeless” and “awful”.
"It was arguably the worst I've seen us play during the two years I've been at the club. I cannot remember seeing us perform so badly. Thankfully, we responded in the second half and made a game of it and could have maybe gotten something."
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert was full of praise for his side's first half showing.
"We were outstanding. The movement in midfield was terrific. If we had scored a couple more goals I don't think anyone could have begrudged us. The first half was excellent."
Man-of-the-match Gabby Agbonlahor received special praise. “Agbonlahor was outstanding. At times he was un playable with his running power and speed. It has been a terrific start and we have to keep it going."
The win takes Villa up to third in the table behind highflyers Swansea and title favourites Chelsea while the Tigers slip to ninth.