Hull City 2 Aston Villa 0: Jelavic and N'Doye pile pressure on Lambert
Hull City piled the pressure on Paul Lambert and Aston Villa with a 2-0 victory that sees the Midlands club fall into the Premier League relegation zone for the first time this season.
Goals in each half from Nikica Jelavic and home debutant Dame N'Doye secured Hull's first win since New Year's Day, and lifted Steve Bruce's side out of the bottom three and above Villa - who were again listless in defeat.
Jelavic opened the scoring at the KC Stadium in fortunate fashion as his innocuous-looking shot flicked off Ciaran Clark and looped into the net after 22 minutes.
A second-half devoid of chances followed until N'Doye capped his first Hull start with a goal to seal an invaluable three points.
Victory sees Hull climb into 16th position in the table, while Villa - who are now winless in 10 Premier League outings - slip into the drop zone after QPR beat Sunderland 2-0.
Both sides handed first starts to new signings, with N'Doye lining up alongside Jelavic in attack for the hosts, while Scott Sinclair got the nod ahead of Tom Cleverley for Villa.
Sinclair was joined by Carles Gil and Gabriel Agbonlahor in an attacking trio in support of Andreas Weimann, and it was Agbonlahor who called Hull keeper Allan McGregor into action for the first time.
The striker ghosted in front of his marker to meet Ashley Westwood's cross, but his glancing header was easily gathered by the Scot.
Despite Villa's pressure, it was a piece of route one football that was their undoing - Jelavic benefitting from a big deflection off Clark as he opened the scoring midway through the half.
McGregor's goal kick was collected by N’Doye inside the Villa half, he played Jelavic in and the Croat's tame shot looped into the top-left hand corner courtesy of Clark's touch.
Villa, who have scored just once in their last eight top-flight games, lacked any cutting edge in their attempts to get back into the game, with Sinclair and Fabian Delph skewing wide from long range before the break.
Lambert introduced Christian Benteke and Joe Cole before the hour to try and spark goal-shy Villa into life, but chances were at a premium in what quickly turned into a midfield battle.
Hull's Robbie Brady created a rare chance with 18 minutes to play as he jinked his way down the left, only to fire wide.
A second goal was not far away for the hosts, though, as N'Doye showed why Bruce worked so hard to sign him before the transfer window closed, the 29-year-old lashing past Guzan after 74 minutes.
Ahmed Elmohamady's cross was headed across goal by substitute Gaston Ramirez, and N'Doye applied the finishing touch at the second attempt.
Villa fans, tired after another poor display, responded to N'Doye's strike by calling for Lambert to be sacked - topping off a miserable evening for the former Norwich City boss.