Both sides suffered harrowing midweek defeats as the hosts crashed out of the League Cup to lowly Leyton Orient and the visitors failed to reach the Europa League group stage.
Villa responded magnificently to that setback, flying out of the traps and earning a two-goal lead at the break through Gabby Agbonlahor and Andreas Weimann.
The tempo dropped significantly after the restart with chances at a premium, but Hull unexpectedly halved their deficit through Nikica Jelavic’s deflected header to set up a nervy final 15 minutes just as the contest appeared to be fizzling out.
Villa regrouped and saw out a deserved victory with Fabian Delph – fresh from his England call-up – putting in a dominant midfield display as they rose to third in the table and inflicted a first league defeat on Hull.
Fabian Delph of Aston Villa reacts after failing to score during the Barclays Premier League match between Aston …
PRE-MATCH – DAWSON STARTS! Just the one enforced change for Hull as new signing Michael Dawson goes straight into the starting XI at the expense of the suspended James Chester.
2’ – CLIPS THE BAR! Delph crashes a shot against the top corner of the woodwork after ghosting into the penalty area.
14’ – GOAL! Villa 1-0 Hull. Agbonlahor swivels inside the area and plants a low shot into the bottom corner.
36’ – GOAL! Villa 2-0 Hull. Weimann sweeps into the bottom corner after being found by Kieran Richardson. Debutant Dawson made to pay for giving the ball away!
43’ – POST! Ashley Westwood whips a right-footed effort over the wall and watches it smash against the woodwork. So close to a third. Villa have been superb in this opening period.
74’ – GOAL! Villa 2-1 Hull. Jelavic's tame header flicks off Aly Cissokho and rolls into the corner. Undeserved.
79’ – CHANCE! Delph dances through the Hull defence, elects to go alone with Jack Grealish in space on his left and drags a shot wide. Poor finish, but the midfielder has been superb today.
90+2’ – SO CLOSE! Substitute Aluko has a late chance but sees his effort beaten into the ground by Guzan.
Villa have never lost a home Premier League match after being two or more up at half time (31 occasions) – they have drawn just once, 4-4 against Leicester on 22 February 1995.
Aston Villa have gone four games undefeated at home in the Premier League for the first time since eight matches in Apr-Oct 2011.
That was Jelavic’s 22nd goal in the Premier League, equalling the record for a Croatian player, set by Alen Boksic.
Stats courtesy of Infostrada
Can Villa finish in the top half? They were tipped by many to be relegation fodder this season, but their display against Hull highlighted they have the attacking acumen to partner their defensive guile.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Fabian Delph (Aston Villa): Acted as puppeteer for the hosts, directing play and making incisive runs from deep. England fans will now be hoping he can replicate this form on the international stage.
Nikica Jelavic of Hull City celebrates scoring his team's opening goal with Paul McShane of Hull City during the …
Aston Villa: Guzan 6, Vlaar 6, Senderos 7, Hutton 6, Cissokho 6, Delph 8, Westwood 7, Richardson 6, N’Zogbia 6, Weimann 7, Agbonlahor 7. Subs: Sanchez 6, Grealish 6, Bent 6.
Hull City: McGregor 6, Dawson 5, Davies 5, McShane 5, Elmohamady 6, Huddlestone 5, Livermore 6, Quinn 6, Robertson 6, Ince 5, Jelavic 6. Subs: Rosenior 5, Brady 6, Aluko 6.
THE MATCH IN A TWEET
- Sports & Recreation
- Aston Villa
- Europa League
- the Premier League
- Hull City
- Fabian Delph