Bobbie Jackson, BBC Sport
The news that manager Roy Hodgson wouldn't be attending the game at Villa Park after "taking unwell" can't have helped Crystal Palace's preparations.
Assistant boss Paddy McCarthy took charge with Ray Lewington in support and Palace defended well in the first half but offered little in attack.
It came as somewhat of a surprise to see them launch an attack almost immediately after the restart when Odsonne Edouard turned home.
Ultimately, Villa's quality shone through and the home side deservedly picked up all three points.
Despite tasting defeat, Palace can take some comfort from the form of Edouard.
The Frenchman has scored four times this season - already one more than in the entirety of 2022-23 - and he looks determined to fill the void left by Wilfried Zaha.