This felt like a landmark day for Aston Villa. Matthew Lowton registered his first goal for the club with a fine volley, Christian Benteke came off the bench and scored on his debut and Paul Lambert celebrated his first Premier League win since taking over as manager. It was also an afternoon when the home supporters fell in love with their team again and remembered what an enjoyable place Villa Park can be.

Playing at a high tempo, working tirelessly to close down their opponents and prepared to attack in numbers, Villa were unrecognisable from the side who toiled so painfully under Alex McLeish last season. More than anything, they looked like a team.

"If you keep getting beaten the confidence will go," Lambert said, alluding to the damage caused by the previous campaign. "The ability is always there, that never leaves you. It is just trying to bring that out of them and I am proud of them at the minute."

There has certainly been quite a turnaround since Everton ran Villa ragged in the previous home game. They thoroughly deserved to get a point at Newcastle the following weekend and there were more encouraging signs against Swansea that the players are responding to Lambert's methods and starting to feel liberated, rather than burdened, when they pull on a Villa shirt.

"We have real talented footballers," Lambert said. "You just have to give them that belief to go and perform. And if they do that, and the crowd go with them, this will be one hell of a place."

This win, however, was down to more than mental courage. Lambert got his tactics spot on against a club he has beaten on five of the six occasions he has come up against them as a manager. By playing with a tight midfield diamond, Villa were able to hunt in packs, denying Michael Laudrup's team the time and space on the ball to impose their passing game.

"We watched clips of the Everton game together. We got picked off," Lowton said. "Against Swansea, if one went, then another one went and we were able to pen them in. They couldn't play out from the back like they want to. I don't think they were able to handle the pressure we put them under."

Lowton's goal could not have been better timed for Villa, coming on the back of an opening 10 minutes when Swansea had made the better start and had twice gone close to scoring only to be frustrated by Brad Guzan, who once again justified his inclusion ahead of Shay Given.

Yet the complexion of the game changed from the moment that Lowton's sweetly struck left-foot volley deceived Michel Vorm, the Swansea goalkeeper. "It's one of the best days of my life, scoring a goal like that in the Premier League," said Lowton, who is one of four players Lambert has brought in this summer from clubs in the Championship or below.

Benteke, a Belgium international signed for £7m from Genk on deadline day, added Villa's second, capitalising on a dreadful mistake by Ashley Williams to give Villa their first league victory in 14 attempts and end Swansea's unbeaten start to the season.

"It's never nice to lose, especially when you have been unbeaten but we must learn from this," Vorm said. "Aston Villa worked incredibly hard and the tempo was very high, so we never got into our rhythm. Next time, against Everton, we must make sure we play the game our way."

Man of the match Brett Holman (Aston Villa)