Aston Villa 2-1 Charlton
Goals either side of the break from defenders Alpay and Jlloyd Samuel gave Aston Villa a 2-1 victory over Charlton.
Thumped 4-1 by Manchester City last time out, David O'Leary's side made amends for that defeat, but with a far from convincing performance.
Alpay volleyed home from close range on 36 minutes before Samuel curled home a delightful second 19 minutes later.
Charlton reduced the deficit through Kevin Lisbie with four minutes left, but failed to get the equaliser they deserved.
Yet the visitors, who had recalled Mark Fish and Luke Young in defence, began the better and could have been two-up midway through the first half.
Shaun Bartlett hit the underside of the crossbar after being set up by Paolo di Canio on 24 minutes.
36mins: Alpay opens the scoring after a mistake by goalkeeper Dean Kiely
55mins: Samuel doubles Villa's lead with a spectacular curler
86mins: Substitute Lisbie scrambles home a late consolation for Charlton
Then two minutes later, Radostin Kishishev lobbed Villa keeper Thomas Sorensen only to see his cheeky effort end up in the side-netting.
The home side made the most of their lucky escape, breaking the deadlock through Alpay.
The Turkey international, making his first home league start for 11 months because of injuries to Olof Mellberg and Ronny Johnsen, volleyed the ball home from close range after Dean Kiely had failed to collect Lee Hendrie's corner.
Juan Pablo Angel almost doubled Villa's lead on the stroke of half-time when his overhead kick flew just over.
Instead, it was left to defender Samuel to increase the lead after the break.
The left-back was given time and space to roam by the Charlton defence and made the visitors pay by finding the net with a pin-point right-foot shot from 20 yards.
Shaun Bartlett had a goal harshly ruled out by referee Chris Foy before Lisbie, on for the ineffective Di Canio, grabbed a late consolation after a mix-up involving Alpay and Sorensen.
Aston Villa: Sorensen, Delaney, Alpay, Barry, De la Cruz, Hendrie, McCann, Whittingham, Allback (Vassell 64),
Subs Not Used: Dublin, Hitzlsperger, Postma, Stefan Moore.
Charlton: Kiely, Young, Fortune, Fish, Powell,
Kishishev (Stuart 59), Parker, Holland, Jensen,
Di Canio (Lisbie 82), Bartlett.
Subs Not Used: Johansson, Royce, Perry.
Booked: Young, Fortune.
Referee: C Foy (Merseyside).