By Tom Blackburn
Aston Villa were defeated 1-0 in the Championship opener, as Sheffield Wednesday striker Fernando Forestieri pounced on a defensive error to score a late winner.
The prolific striker capitalised on an awful Pierluigi Gollini clearance that failed to make the halfway line and the Italian ran through in the 86th minute before firing past the new Villa goalkeeper.
Villa struggled to create chances, and that will be a concern to manager Roberto Di Matteo, who recently spent £12million on new striker Ross McCormack.
The former Fulham man had his best chance in the 76th minute when Rudy Gestede knocked the ball down to him in the box – but he was unable to pull the trigger before the Wednesday defence smothered him.
McCormack was subbed off just one minute later with the scores still at 0-0, and Di Matteo opted to bring on Jack Grealish.
The end of the first half saw a glut of yellow cards, with new Villa captain Tommy Elphick among those to be booked when he tripped opposition striker Gary Hooper on the edge of the box.
Its the worse possible start to the Championship season for Villa, after their absymal showing in the Premier League last season.
In other Aston Villa news, they are working on the final details of a midfielder transfer after Saturday talks.