Villa made Liverpool look ordinary after their hopes of challenging for a top-four spot were severley dinted.
The home side went behind against the run of play when Christian Benteke arrowed a shot in off the post.
Benteke made it three from close range for a resurgent Villa before Steven Gerrard netted a late consolation goal.
It was a second defeat in 12 games for Liverpool and will serve as a reality check to their growing levels of optimism and expectancy that they might be able to launch an assault on the Champions League places. A top six finish looks a tough call right now.
Meanwhile Paul Lambert has followed Brendan Rodgers’ lead at Liverpool by admitting there is no instant fix at Aston Villa either. Rodgers, like Lambert appointed in the summer, last month claimed it will take THREE years to cure the Reds.
And the Villa boss has predicted that it will take him the same time span to rebuild Villa.
Whether either will given that long based on current form remains to be seen.
After coming sixth for three straight seasons under Martin O’Neill, the Villa have finished ninth and 16th.
Lambert said: “I understand what Brendan is saying. It’s not too dissimilar to that here.
“We’re new to it and trying to build something and it does take time. But I think the fans recognise the job we have to do here.
“There will be hits along the way, but there will also be great nights as well.”
The Scot's predecessors Gerard Houllier and Alex McLeish only managed to last a season each, but Lambert is confident he will get it right, if given time.
He added: “It’s just about building it and if you get the time to do it then hopefully it will take off.
“You have got to keep making progress, you can’t stand still.”
Liverpool lie in twelth spot and Villa fourteenth.