Villa 2 Swansea 0

Hard-working Villa earned their first Premier League win of the season with a convincing 2-0 win over Swansea today.

Hard-working Villa earned their first Premier League win of the season with a convincing 2-0 win over Swansea today.

In a day of firsts, Matthew Lowton opened his account with a stunning 22-yard volley in the 16th minute, before £7m striker Christian Benteke wrapped it up with a debut goal in the 88th minute after coming off the bench.

It was no more than Paul Lambert’s side deserved following a dominant second-half display that thrilled the Holte.

There were chances aplenty for the hosts in the second period as Andi Weimann’s shot was blocked on the line, captain Ron Vlaar’s header was tipped over and Benteke and Karim Ahmadi forced saves from Swansea keeper Micherl Vorm.

But it could have been so different had Villa shotstopper Brad Guzan not made two superb saves from Ashley Williams’ header and Nathan Dyer’s superb curling shot within seconds of each other in the 10th minute.

Villa started well and forced the first chance after just 40 seconds when midfielder Barry Bannan’s left foot shot looped up off Swansea captain Ashley Williams to provide keeper Michel Vorm with an easy catch following Andi Weimann’s right-wing cross.

Eric Lichaj was next to force Swansea back in an enterprising run down the left which took him past one opponent only to produce a poor cross after getting into a good position.

The loose ball broke to Weimann but his centre from the right was well over hit.

The game almost turned dramatically in Swansea’s favour in the 10th minute, and it took two superb saves from Guzan to keep the scores level.

First the American blocked a close-range header from Williams from Jonathan De Guzman’s corner after the Swansea skipper rose above Vlaar.

Then seconds later, Guzan excelled himself with a top-drawer stop to get a hand to a curling effort from Dyer which was heading for the top corner.

Six minutes later, Villa got the breakthrough they scarcely deserved but it was a superb strike from Lowton.

The young full-back controlled the ball on his chest before unleashing a tremendous angled left-foot volley from 22 yards after Bannan’s corner had been headed clear by Williams at the near post.

The goal settled Villa and although they weren’t convincing, they managed to keep their noses in front without too much trouble.

The industrious Brett Holman chipped over and Weimann forced the only other save of the half from Vorm six minutes before the break with a first-time curling effort that the Dutch keeper pushed around the post at full stretch.

If the first half ended in tepid fashion, the second started with a bang – and it was Villa making all the noise.

Ciaran Clark saw a flick blocked at the near post by Vorm after Lowton had done superbly to keep a cross in play.

Then Darren Bent’s shot cannoned off Tate as Villa forced three successive corners.

From the last, there were deafening shouts for a penalty on 54 minutes after Weimann’s shot on the turn from inside the six-yard box was blocked by Leon Britton on the line.

But although replays showed the ball hit his hand after his head, the midfielder could do little about it and referee Lee Mason got it right by waving play on.

Villa, supplemented by the 71st minute arrivals of deadline signings Ashley Westwood and  Benteke for Stephen Ireland and Weimann, remained the better team throughout the second half.

The industry of players such as man of the match Brett Holman ensured Swansea never had time to settle on the ball.

And it was Villa who remained the more likely scorers.

First Vlaar, who was named Villa captain for the first time, saw a header tipped over the bar, before Benteke’s bending effort hit a defender and sailed behind.

Then Vorm was in action again, this time to push aside Ahmadi’s curling shot.

Benteke missed a cracking chance after Bent headed back Bannan’s chip, although Alan Tate did well to get his head to it to put him off.

And although the Holte head its collective breath as former Villa striker Luke Moore whistled a shot past Guzan’s far post, there was no stopping Villa.

Benteke made sure of that when he rolled the ball into a empty net for Villa’s hugely-deserved second goal after Tate left Vorm well short with a mis-directed back header.

It was no more than Villa deserved.