Mbwana Samatta's first goal for Aston Villa was not enough to prevent a 2-1 defeat at 10-man Bournemouth.
The January signing, who became the first player from Tanzania to feature in the Premier League, headed home in the 70th minute to hand the visitors hope at Vitality Stadium.
It came after Jefferson Lerma had been sent off for the Cherries early in the second period following a second bookable offence.
But Villa could not find a leveller and were undone on the south coast by goals from Philip Billing and Nathan Ake in the space of seven minutes towards the end of the first half.
Defeat ends Villa's three-match unbeaten run in all competitions and they will be looking to get back on track at home to Tottenham Hotspur after the forthcoming two-week winter break.
Dean Smith made one change from the side who started the midweek victory over Leicester City which sent Villa to the Carabao Cup Final, fit-again Pepe Reina coming in for Ørjan Nyland between the sticks.
And the Spaniard was forced to save from Billing after eight minutes as the visitors started on the front foot.
Half-chances came at both ends but the best opportunity of the opening 30 minutes fell to Dan Gosling, who could only send his effort over the crossbar from 10 yards having been found by Harry Wilson.
Grealish curled narrowly wide of the far post but it was the Cherries who opened the scoring in the 37th minute when Billing converted from Gosling’s header back across goal.
And the hosts doubled their advantage just before half-time, Ake poking home from close range after Reina parried Ryan Fraser’s strike following Wilson’s blocked free-kick.
Lerma's long-range strike clipped the top of the crossbar shortly after the restart, only for the Cherries midfielder to see red soon afterwards having been shown a second yellow card.
Callum Wilson went close for the home side before Matt Targett saw his strike cleared to safety at the other end as both sides threatened.
And it was Villa who hit back to give themselves hope as Samatta sent a header over the onrushing Aaron Ramsdale after substitute Keinan Davis had seen his attempted shot blocked and loop upwards.
Inspired, the visitors pressed for an equaliser, Grealish sending an effort just wide, the lively Davis denied by Ramsdale before Samatta saw a header kept out by the Cherries keeper.
But it was not enough as the home side held out for all three points.
Villa: Reina, Konsa (Engels 46), Mings, Hause, Guilbert, Douglas, Nakamba (Trezeguet 80), Targett, El Ghazi (Davis 58), Samatta, Grealish.
Subs: Nyland, El Mohamady, Lansbury, Hourihane.
Goals: Billing (37), Ake (44), Samatta (70)
Red card: Lerma (51)
Villa now head into the two-week winter break in the Premier League and are not back in action until Sunday, February 16 when they face Tottenham Hotspur (ko 2pm) at Villa Park. Secure your seat, click here.