Gabriel Agbonlahor celebrates after scoring Aston Villa's second goal
Aston Villa maintained their impressive form to consign Portsmouth to a sixth successive Premier League defeat.
James Milner opened the scoring from the penalty spot after Nadir Belhadj upended Villa skipper Stilian Petrov.
Gabriel Agbonlahor then underlined Villa's superiority, converting a Milner flick-on with aplomb after a lapse of concentration by Tal Ben Haim.
The defeat makes Pompey the first top-flight side to lose their opening six games in over a quarter of a century.
Leicester City were the last team to start a top-flight campaign in similarly desultory fashion.
And while Portsmouth can perhaps take heart from the fact that the Foxes eventually recovered to finish the 1983/84 season in 15th place, they will need to tighten up significantly at the back if history is to repeat itself.
O'Neill praises 'fantastic' Agbonlahor
After a fifth successive win in all competitions, Villa have no such problems.
Nigel Reo-Coker's training-ground contretemps with manager Martin O'Neill overshadowed the prelude to the game, but a vibrant performance will have done much to lighten the mood in the claret-and-sky-blue camp.
O'Neill dealt with the absence of Reo-Coker, who was sent home from training on Thursday but will be considered for return to first-team contention next week, by restoring John Carew alongside Agbonlahor in attack.
The result was an infusion of attacking impetus that was evident from the opening seconds, when Agbonlahor's purposeful run towards the Pompey goal required a lunging intervention from Belhadj.
Villa's enterprise almost reaped an early reward when a left-wing cross from Ashley Young took a deflection off the forehead of Pompey midfielder Aaron Mokoena, forcing a sprightly save from England veteran David James.
If that was a warning shot across the Pompey bows, further signs of a torrid afternoon ahead for the visitors were not long in coming.
A well-timed tackle by Michael Brown halted Steve Sidwell's surging run into the box before Belhadj blocked a stinging effort from Milner.
In between came Portsmouth's best chance of the opening period, Frederic Piquionne shaking off the attention of two defenders only to direct his angled header wide of Brad Friedel's far post.
But as the relentless Villa onslaught continued, Portsmouth were clearly beginning to feel the squeeze.
O'Neill's side finally gained the advantage that their superiority demanded when Belhadj upended Petrov to concede a penalty.
The Algeria international appeared to argue that the Villa captain was heading away from goal, but referee Stuart Attwell was having none of it and Milner ended the debate with a clinical spot kick.
With the interval approaching O'Hara forced an unconvincing save from Brad Friedel, but if that was a faint ray of hope for Portsmouth, it was quickly snuffed out by Agbonlahor.
'Schoolboy errors costly - Hart
Milner flicked on a Friedel goal kick from inside the centre circle, and the Villa forward, still brimming with confidence after scoring the winner in the second city derby last weekend, turned Ben Haim before firing a crisp finish beyond James.
Staring down the barrel of another spirit-sapping defeat, Portsmouth improved markedly after the break, with Belhadj twice stinging the palms of Friedel from distance.
But Pompey's efforts came to nought, and a sixth consecutive loss represents a new low for a club that has twice narrowly avoided the drop since winning promotion from the Championship six years ago.
Aston Villa manager Martin O'Neill:
"I'm delighted, because it was a difficult afternoon for us, particularly in the second half.
"Expectations were high, but we got the penalty and then Gabriel Agbonlahor scored an absolutely magnificent goal to give everyone a lift.
"Overall I'm just really pleased with the team, there's a great spirit in the dressing room and I'm delighted to have got off to a reasonable start."
Portsmouth manager Paul Hart: "I'm very disappointed in the result and the manner of the defeat because we shot ourselves in the foot.
"Then two defensive mistakes which were inexplicable and that has killed the game for us.
"We played well throughout the match and created a few chances. We have let ourselves down again but I have great belief in the players and feel we will improve."
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