Aston Villa held off late pressure from Hull City to cap the visitors' disappointing week with a 2-1 defeat on Sunday.
Steve Bruce's side bowed out of the UEFA Europa League to Lokeren on Thursday, and first-half goals from Gabriel Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann gave a lacklustre Hull a mountain to climb at Villa Park.
Villa's strong start to the match was rewarded when Agbonlahor opened the scoring with a smart finish after 16 minutes.
Weimann played a significant role in the opener and the Austrian got on the scoresheet shortly after the half-hour mark.
Kieran Richardson cut the ball back from the left and Weimann, who netted twice in the corresponding fixture last season, put Villa in control.
Hull rallied in the second half and pulled one back through Nikica Jelavic, but the damage had been done as Paul Lambert's men continued their unbeaten Barclays Premier League start to the season and banished memories of their midweek League Cup defeat to Leyton Orient.
Fabian Delph, fresh from his maiden England call-up, started well, clipping the crossbar early on and keeping Villa ticking over in the centre of the park.
Hull were sluggish following their European exit, and were punished when Agbonlahor turned smartly and fired home from inside the area.
The striker opened his account for the season after a neat pass from Weimann around the point that Hull appeared to be growing into the contest.
Agbonlahor then forced Hull debutant Michael Dawson into a hurried clearance following a dangerous cross from the left before the visitors went close shortly after when Tom Huddlestone's shot from distance deflected marginally wide off Delph.
However, Dawson's first outing since joining from Tottenham Hotspur got worse when he gave the ball away on the edge of the penalty area.
Richardson then attacked down the left and crossed for Weimann, who had time to pick his spot and send Villa in 2-0 up at the break, although it could have been three when Ashley Westwood's free-kick hit the post late in the half.
Hull began the second half brighter but struggled to create chances, Bruce opting to replace Tom Ince with Robbie Brady in an attempt to get a foothold in the game.
Amid late pressure, Lambert's defence conceded their first goal of the top-flight campaign when Jelavic headed home via a deflection off Aly Cissokho from a corner with 16 minutes remaining.
Jake Livermore's late free-kick that hit the bar was as close as Hull came to snatching a point, and Bruce may be tempted to delve into the transfer market before the window's closure on Monday.
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert: "In the first half we were outstanding, the game plan and the tactical aspect of the game was outstanding and against a good side - the three at the back system is a hard one to play against.
"I don't think if we'd scored another couple of goals, anyone could have begrudged us that. That would have made the second half a little bit more at ease.
"Gabby [Agbonlahor] today was, especially in the first half, unplayable. His running power and his speed were excellent but the movement in the midfield was terrific.
"It's been a terrific start for us and hopefully we can keep it going."
Hull manager Steve Bruce: "For how good our second half was, our first was just as bad. We gave ourselves such a mountain to climb with the first-half performance in particular - it was arguably the worst I've seen us perform.
"I can't remember us performing so badly. In the second half we made a game of it and on another day we could have nicked something. But I still can't get over how bad we were in the first half. We gifted them goals, we made mistake after mistake and we didn't get above a jog so how do you expect to win a Premier League game?
"We had so many people who performed so badly, it was a shock to me but maybe we're getting carried away with all the nonsense that's being written about us and all the rest of it. It's been a wake-up call.
"We can't wait until the second half and have me ranting and raving like some sort of lunatic to have a response. I wish we could get them in tomorrow and start working with them straight away but we can't, we've got 11 or 12 away [for international duty].
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|13 Dec 2014||v West Brom (A)|
|13 Sep 2014||v Liverpool (A)|
|27 Sep 2014||v Chelsea (A)|
|29 Nov 2014||v Burnley (A)|
|08 Nov 2014||v West Ham (A)|