Jelavic's early goal proved to be enough for Rapid Vienna
Aston Villa were stunned by an early Nikica Jelavic goal as they lost the first leg of their Europa League qualifier away at Rapid Vienna.
The Bosnian headed home after just 40 seconds to give the Austrian side a narrow advantage ahead of the return leg at Villa Park on 27 August.
Villa's best moments came after the break but they failed to seriously test opposing goalkeeper Helge Payer.
At the other end Christopher Drazan saw an effort cleared off the line.
Martin O'Neill was criticised for fielding a weakened team as Villa were knocked out of the Uefa Cup last season and although he did not make wholesale changes in Vienna, there were four changes to the team that lost 2-0 to Wigan last Saturday.
Perhaps the most surprising change came in goal as American Brad Guzan replaced his compatriot Brad Freidel and his first job was to pick the ball out of the net as Rapid made the perfect start.
It took the hosts less than a minute to go in front as the dangerous Drazan whipped in a curling cross for Jelavic to head home.
It was a blow from which Villa were unable to recover as Payer dealt with any threat that came his way.
Craig Gardner fired over, while the Rapid keeper was on hand to deal with crosses from Ashley Young and James Milner - one of the more lively visiting players.
When Milner did find a way past Payer, Emile Heskey - who started as a lone striker - could only plant his header over the bar.
Despite an encouraging start to the second half it was much the same after break and O'Neill soon replaced midfielder Gardner with striker Gabriel Agbonlahor as he looked to inject some pace into the Villa attack.
The switch had the desired affect with the English side pushing forward with greater urgency and just after the hour mark Young created Villa's best opening with a brilliant turn and cross, but Curtis Davies was unable to direct his header goalwards.
Despite the increased urgency from O'Neill's side, Rapid, and in particular Drazan, continued to pose a threat.
The 18-year-old Austrian striker first tested Guzan with a ferocious shot from the edge of the area, before Davies cleared his effort off the line.
Villa continued to press for a vital away goal, but Milner could not finish from Young's cross and Steve Sidwell shot straight at Payer.
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