Report: Aston Villa 1 Swans 0
Liberty old boy Tammy Abraham came back to haunt the Swans as Aston Villa started life under Dean Smith on a winning note.
Abraham, who spent last season on in SA1, headed home the only goal of the game after eight minutes as he became the fourth former Swan to score against the club this season.
The England international, on loan from Chelsea, could have added to his tally in the second half only to be denied by a save from point-blank range by Kristoffer Nordfeldt.
The Swans offered more after the break, with Jay Fulton denied by keeper Orjan Nyland and Connor Roberts' effort being kept out by former Swan Neil Taylor.
Despite their late push, Graham Potter's side fell to their fourth defeat of the campaign, leaving them with 17 points from 13 games.
Potter made five changes to the side which started against Ipswich, with the headline news being a Swans league debut for Wales Under-21 defender Cian Harries.
The 21-year-old, who joined the club from Coventry City in July 2017, made his maiden Championship appearance after making his Swans debut in the Carabao Cup defeat to Crystal Palace in August.
The other changes saw captain Leroy Fer start for the first time since the win at Millwall on September 1, while Fulton also returned in midfield.
Martin Olsson made his first start since the goalless draw at Middlesbrough last month, while Barrie McKay was also recalled.
Abraham handed Villa the perfect start on a day where the hosts paid tribute to former chairman Sir Doug Ellis, who passed away recently.
He rose highest to head home Ahmed Elmohamady's cross and Villa Park erupted.
Villa looked to build on their promising start, with Jack Grealish's free-kick fizzing along the face of goal but out of reach of Alan Hutton's boot.
Taylor's cross was then deflected into the path of John McGinn, but debutant Harries timed his block perfectly.
The warning signs were still there just past the half-hour mark as Albert Adomah's cross struck the boot of Connor Roberts and headed goalwards. A fine reflex save from Nordfeldt, though, saved the Swans.
Potter's side mounted their first real attack after 32 minutes, with Joe Rodon heading over from Martin Olsson's cross.
Fulton was then denied by Nyland before the Scot saw his tame header calmly collected by the Villa keeper.
That was it for the first half, and Potter made a change early in the second half as Daniel James replaced Harries.
James gave the Swans some further options, and his pace saw him race past Taylor and send a ball across the face of goal. Oli McBurnie, however, just failed to connect.
At the other end, Abraham could and should have doubled his side's advantage when he chested down Adomah's cross but fired straight at Nordfeldt.
Abraham then headed into the ground and over the bar from sub Yannick Bolasie's cross, before the Swans pushed hard for an equaliser in the last 20 minutes.
Fulton saw his header from sub Tom Carroll's cross kept out before Mike van der Hoorn nodded over from Bersant Celina's free-kick.
Another chance saw McBurnie fail to hit the target from James' deep cross while Roberts was denied by Talyor's block after Carroll sent the ball into the danger area.
Celina then tried his luck in the latter stages, only to see his low effort from an acute angle kept out.
That was the final effort from the visitors, who slipped to 15th in the table.
Aston Villa: Orjan Nyland, Alan Hutton, Axel Tuanzebe, James Chester (capt), Neil Taylor, Ahmed Elmohamady (Yannick Bolasie, 63), Birkir Bjarnason, John McGinn, Jack Grealish (Connor Hourihane, 82), Albert Adomah (Jonathan Kodjia, 74), Tammy Abraham.
Subs: Mark Bunn, Mile Jedinak, Glenn Whelan, Scott Hogan.
Swans: Kristoffer Nordfeldt, Connor Roberts, Joe Rodon, Mike van der Hoorn, Cian Harries (Daniel James, 50), Martin Olsson, Jay Fulton, Leroy Fer (capt, Matt Grimes, 70), Barrie McKay (Tom Carroll, 65), Bersant Celina, Oli McBurnie.
Subs: Erwin Mulder, Kyle Naughton, Cameron Carter-Vickers, George Byers.