The game never really sparked into life during the first half until 32 minutes when Marc Albrighton, who had come on for the injured Fabian Delph, swung a cross into the Liverpool box.
It went past everyone and ended at the feet of Stewart Downing, where the England man brought it down perfectly and then guided the ball past Jose Reina to give Villa the lead.
The second half was a much-improved game and Liverpool will look back at a host of missed chances, in particularly when Brad Friedel saved point-blank from Raul Meireles on 61 minutes to prevent a Reds equaliser.
Both sides had chances to score in the closing moments but the game petered out and Villa secured their first win over Liverpool at home since 1998 to end the season on a high.
The defeat ensured Liverpool failed to secure a fifth placed finish and the Reds will not be involved in any European competition next season.