Villa U21 4-2 Blackburn U21: Classy display from young guns
Villa produced a stylish attacking display to earn a morale-boosting victory at Villa Park.
Gordon Cowans' team scored four goals of the highest quality, with Graham Burke bagging a brace, while Jerell Sellars and Callum Robinson also found the target.
French U21 international Bryan Dabo struck two late goals for Blackburn but the home side were already well out of sight.
The encounter got off to a cagey start but Villa took the lead on 22 minutes with the first real attack of the game.
After Robinson was tripped around 20 yards from goal, Graham Burke stepped up to drill a low free-kick into the bottom corner.
Moments later, Robinson cut in from the left and curled an effort at goal which David Raya got down to save.
Rovers almost equalised on 39 minutes when Jordan Preston's shot cannoned off the underside of the bar after he met Bradley Bauress' cutback.
And Preston was also denied by Villa keeper Benjamin Siegrist, who did well to deflect his close-range shot over the bar.
Burke should have added a second four minutes before the break after being played through on goal by Andras Stieber.
But the Irishman opted for power over placement and Raya was able to push the shot over.
Villa were straight on the front foot in the second half and doubled their advantage four minutes after the restart.
Robinson curled a corner towards the near post and Sellars finished with an acrobatic volley.
Sellars was instrumental in the third goal moments later, racing on to Jordan Graham's through ball before squaring to Burke who turned and fired high into the net.
Then, on 64 minutes, Robinson cut inside and curled a shot into the far corner to make it 4-0.
To their credit, Blackburn managed to respond with a couple of consolation strikes.
Connor Mahoney sent in a low free-kick and Dabo got in front of his marker to convert.
On-loan Montpellier striker Dabo then pounced on a loose ball and somehow squeezed a shot past Siegrist at the near post.
VILLA: Siegrist, Webb, Wildin, Stieber, Toner, Kinsella, Graham, Burke, Sellars, Johnson (c), Robinson. Subs: Calder [for Wildin 79], Watkins, R Strain, Abdo [for Sellars 79], T Strain.
BLACKBURN: Raya, Fernandez, Beesley, Edwards, Tumwa, Mahoney, Lenihan (c), Preston, Dabo, Bauress, Pero, Urwin, Cotton [for Evans 74], Joel, Cham [for Bauress 62].