Ten-man Bournemouth leapfrogged Aston Villa and moved out of the relegation zone with a crucial 2-1 win at the Vitality Stadium.
Goals from Philip Billing (37) and Nathan Ake (44) gave Bournemouth a deserved half-time lead, before Jefferson Lerma was harshly sent off (70) for a second booking soon after the break.
On his Premier League debut, Aston Villa striker Mbwana Samatta - a recent £8.5m signing from Genk - nodded his side back into the game (70) to ensure a nervy finish for the hosts, who managed to hold on for a massive three points in the scrap to survive.
The result sees the Cherries secure back-to-back Premier League home wins for the first time in a year, and climb out of the relegation zone into 16th.
Villa, still the only Premier League side without an away clean sheet, drop one place to 17th.
Bournemouth: Ramsdale (6), Smith (7), Francis (7), Ake (8), Rico (6), Gosling (7), Lerma (6), Billing (7), H Wilson (6), Fraser (7), C Wilson (6).
Aston Villa: Reina (5), Guilbert (6), Konsa (6), Mings (6), Hause (6), Targett (7), Luiz (6), Nakamba (6), Grealish (8), El Ghazi (6), Samatta (7).
Subs: Trezeguet (6), Engels (6), Davis (7).
Man of the Match: Nathan Ake
How Cherries secured vital win
Buoyed by their previous home league victory over Brighton, the Cherries started the brighter of the two sides.
Pepe Reina, signed on loan from AC Milan in the January transfer window, was in the thick of the action for Villa as he saved early efforts from Billing and Harry Wilson.
Smith's side, spurred on by their in-form talisman Jack Grealish, started to build confidence as the half wore on, though, and were it not for a last-ditch Aaron Ramsdale stop and Simon Francis block in quick succession, the away team would have taken the lead.
- The Cherries made one alteration from their 3-1 win over Brighton - Dan Gosling coming in for Dominic Solanke.
- Villa made two changes from their 2-1 win over Watford - Samatta replaced Trezeguet while Douglas Luiz, goalscorer against the Hornets, came in for Danny Drinkwater.
The game, with so much at stake, became an end-to-end affair, and moments after Villa were just inches from taking the lead - Dan Gosling, on his 30th birthday, spurned a glorious chance as he fired over from 10 yards.
Again Villa responded through Grealish, who this time hit the post cutting in from the left with a wicked, curling effort, but Bournemouth heeded the warning and soon took the lead.
After the ball was hoisted high into the Villa box, Gosling headed it down into the path of Billing who confidently stepped into the box to fire home past a sprawling Reina.
Just before half-time Bournemouth went two ahead, Ake converting from close-range after Reina made a hash of Ryan Fraser's low, bouncing effort.
Following the break, the Cherries found themselves down to 10 men, when Lerma picked up a second booking for blocking off Grealish, a decision which looked very harsh on the Bournemouth man in what seemed an innocuous foul.
Villa were then denied a massive claim for a penalty - despite a VAR review - after Ramsdale mistimed his punched clearance inside the box and instead clobbered Bjorn Engels in the face, after the Villa defender beat the Cherries keeper to the ball.
Moments after, Smith's side made Bournemouth pay for their numerical disadvantage, as Samatta rose highest to head past Ramsdale following a deflection off substitute Keinan Davis' initial effort.
Villa suddenly displayed a renewed confidence being only a goal adrift, as Grealish and Davis both went close to an equaliser.
Bournemouth, though, showed impressive resolve and mettle with a man less to repel Villa's attacks, and with the backing of a raucous Vitality Stadium, Eddie Howe's side closed out the game to rapturous applause from the home fans.
What the managers said...
Bournemouth boss Eddie Howe said: "The game totally changed on the sending off, as it always does numerically. That changed the perspective of the game.
"I thought it was really harsh on us and the reaction of the players was brilliant because it's very easy to feel sorry for yourselves in that situation.
"I thought it was really harsh on 'Jeff' (Lerma), I think he's a very aggressive player. He's that type of ball-winner we want him to be.
"But I think Grealish has done very well, he's sucked him in, he's tried to play a one-two around him.
"I'm not sure where 'Jeff' can go on that, a foul yes but a yellow card (second booking) was incredibly tough on us."
Aston Villa boss Dean Smith said: "There was a lot of talking points in the game. I felt there was a clear foul on Ezri Konsa on the edge of their box, they break and get a free-kick and score from that.
"I've looked at the second yellow card that Lerma gets and it's harsh - very harsh, very soft.
"I don't know why we haven't gone to VAR when Bjorn (Engels) heads one over the top of the crossbar and the goalkeeper punches him in the face. Anywhere else on the pitch that's a penalty or a foul.
"There's a lot of talking points, then we only get four minutes (of injury time) at the end. I think the ball boys went on strike second half."
Man of the match: Nathan Ake
The Bournemouth centre-back, linked with a January return to Chelsea, led by example from the back.
The Dutchman personified the Cherries' determination when they went down to ten men, putting in last-ditch challenges as Villa surged forward at every given opportunity.
His first-half goal, taken calmly, was just reward for an excellent performance, and Bournemouth will need to keep their star defender fit if they're to stay up.
- Bournemouth have won their last two Premier League games, as many victories as they managed in their previous 17 in the competition (D4 L11)
- Villa remain the only side in the Premier League this season yet to register an away clean sheet in the competition.
- Villa have seen their opponents pick up six red cards in the Premier League this season, more than any other side.
- Courtesy of Mbwana Samatta, Aston Villa scored their first headed goal in the Premier League since Ciaran Clark netted against Watford in April 2016.
Bournemouth face a trip to Sheffield United next Sunday (2pm kick-off), while Aston Villa return on February 16 after the winter break to host Tottenham (2pm kick-off), live on Sky Sports Premier League.