Paul Lambert hailed Villa's "big, big performance" as they saw off Stoke 1-0 at the Britannia Stadium on the opening day of the 2014-15 season.
Lambert was thrilled with the creativity of his side as they carved out numerous chances before Andi Weimann hit the decisive winner early in the second half.
But the boss was also delighted with the performance of his back four - new signings Aly Cissokho and Philippe Senderos as well as returning Alan Hutton and skipper Ron Vlaar.
He said: "I thought we were excellent.
"In the first 10 minutes we were a wee bit edgy which you can be when you're coming away from home in this league. We couldn't get out of our half.
"But after that we were brilliant. We really were. We had enough chances to win a couple of games there. I really thought we were excellent.
"The goal was excellent. I thought we were a threat all day long. Gabby Agbonlahor's pace was frightening at times. I knew we would create. That's never been a problem.
"We were resolute defensively. The back four were great.
"Aly Cissokho has been thrown in at the deep end but he was outstanding. For his debut, he was fantastic.
"Ron Vlaar has only played 45 minutes since the World Cup. Alan Hutton and Philippe Senderos were fantastic.
"The whole back four - Hutton, Vlaar, Senderos and Cissokho - along with Guzan were outstanding. They weren't bullied and stood up to everything.
"It was an outstanding team display. That was a big, big performance.
"The commitment from the players was excellent. Jack Grealish came on at 18-years-old and didn't look out of place. He has a massive future in the game if he keeps his feet on the ground. Charles N'Zogbia has come back in after a year out too.
"The fans were brilliant for us also."
As well as those on the field, Lambert is also relishing the prospect of a full squad when he gets a number of other players back too.
He added: "We have Carlos Sanchez coming in on Monday. We have Libor Kozak and Christian Benteke coming back. We also have Joe Cole coming back hopefully pretty soon too."
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