Paul Lambert hailed the "outstanding" performance of Joe Bennett in the 1-0 win over Chelsea.
Bennett began the big match at left-back - the first start in his regular position all season - before being subbed off after 78 minutes.
That will have been due to fatigue rather than form as Bennett's display was brilliant in front of a packed Villa Park.
Home fans rose to applaud the defender as he made way for Ciaran Clark and it was richly deserved after he kept the likes of Eden Hazard and Willian quiet.
Lambert was delighted for Bennett as he chatted to reporters on the final whistle.
He said: "Joe was outstanding.
"That was his first game at left-back for months and months. He was absolutely terrific for us.
"He deserved that reception when he came off.
"Joe has had a bit of a hard time but that performance was excellent.
"He had a brilliant tackle in the first half when it got whipped across the six yard line. He cleared it.
"But his general performance throughout was great.
"The guy he came up against has cost millions and look at the way he's been performing.
"It was a mammoth performance from Joe.
"I never waiver when a lad goes on the pitch. If I send them out, I believe they will do the job - or their utmost to do well. I trust them to do their best."
Lambert was thrilled with Bennett - and the defence as a whole as they kept a clean sheet against the table-toppers.
He added: "As a unit they were excellent.
"Ron was excellent, Nathan is playing ever so well at the minute, Leo is doing great and Joe looked like he'd never been away.
"As a back four unit, they were outstanding.
"The clean sheet pleased me because there are not many times you will keep Chelsea out."
Watch the post-match interview of Bennett on AVTV.