Gareth Barry gave Aston Villa the ideal start to life in a bitterly tough group stage of this season's UEFA Cup as they beat Ajax 2-1.
With tricky trips to Hamburg and Slavia Prague to come in Group F, boss Martin O'Neill came into the competition aware his side could ill afford to drop points against the Dutch giants at Villa Park.
And they secured a convincing victory, with Barry's winner coming on the stroke of half-time after Thomas Vermaelen had cancelled out skipper Martin Laursen's early opener.
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