Jermain Defoe looked to have have set us up for a draw at least when his spectacular volley in the 79th minute levelled Olof Mellberg's header from Ashley Young's free-kick in the first half.
But it wasn't to be on New Year's Day as Gareth Barry swung in a corner with five minutes remaining and Martin Laursen rose unchallenged to head home the winner.
Villa carved out the better chances in a game of few opportunities and we enjoyed long spells of possession as Juande switched systems in the second half, all to no avail.
"I'm not happy because we've lost the game," reflected Juande at Villa Park. "We came back from a goal down, created chances and I think a draw would have been a fair result.
"We've conceded goals from set-pieces in the last few weeks and it's hard to win matches when you concede goals from set-pieces.
"It's not about one player not marking - it's a defensive mistake and something we need to look at."
Juande Ramos felt we deserved a point against Aston Villa - but couldn't ignore the set-piece goals that cost us at Villa Park.