A Yakubu Ayegbeni brace helped Middlesbrough to their third Premiership win of the season against Aston Villa.
Ayegbeni put Boro ahead in the 33rd minute with a thumping volley.
Minutes after the break, Luke Moore fired home the equaliser from 10 yards but George Boateng restored the lead, blasting in Fabio Rochemback's corner.
Ayegbeni sealed the win from the spot after Boateng was brought down by Jlloyd Samuel two minutes from time.
Middlesbrough had failed to score in three of their last four Premiership games but made no mistake at Villa Park, with Ayegbeni lifting a subdued and scrappy first half.
The Nigerian striker pounced on a mistake by Villa defender Wilfred Bouma, who headed an Emanuel Pogatetz cross back into the danger area and volleyed past goalkeeper Thomas Sorensen from close range.
Soon afterwards, former Barcelona man Rochemback looked close to doubling the lead when he raced clear of the Villa defence but Sorensen spread himself well and superbly blocked the shot away to his left.
Villa stepped up the tempo and after coming close with headers from Moore and Juan Pablo Angel in the first half, finally grabbed the equaliser four minutes after the break.
Davis crossed in from the left and striker Angel laid the ball back to Moore, who calmly drilled it into the top right-hand corner.
Despite increasing the pressure, David O'Leary's men were left to rue sloppy defending when Boateng darted into the box to meet Rochemback's long corner and blasted the ball past a sea of bodies inside the far post.
The home side continued to plug away for the equaliser and should have done better with Patrik Berger's free-kick just outside the box.
But Samuel's costly challenge on Boateng just inside the box put the result beyond a doubt in the 88th minute.
Ayegbeni stepped up to the spot and slotted the penalty into the bottom left-hand corner for his fourth goal of the season.
To their credit, Villa refused to give up and Steven Davis pulled one back in injury-time but it was too little too late as Middlesbrough earned only their second victory in 14 visits to Villa Park.
Aston Villa boss David O'Leary:
"We have gifted them three goals - we can't afford to do that.
"I thought we had a period after we equalised at 1-1 when we played our best stuff for 10 minutes but then we brought them back in the game.
"It is not good enough and if you do gift people goals like we have done, you make life very hard for yourself and we're doing that at the moment."
Boro boss Steve McClaren on bouncing back from last weekend's home defeat against Sunderland and drawing 0-0 with Xanthi on Thursday to go through to the second round of the Uefa Cup.
"We were so down after Sunday.
"But we showed fantastic character in the dressing room to go through in Europe and to come away to a difficult ground and to win convincingly.
"It wasn't just 11 players, it was the whole squad who got through this week and showed character."
Aston Villa: Sorensen, De la Cruz (Samuel 45), Mellberg, Ridgewell, Bouma (Bakke 76), Milner, Davis, Barry, Berger, Angel, Moore.
Subs Not Used: Taylor, Djemba-Djemba, Cahill.
Booked: Barry, Berger, Ridgewell, Samuel.
Goals: Moore 50, Davis 90.
Middlesbrough: Jones, Xavier, Southgate, Riggott, Pogatetz, Mendieta (Queudrue 65), Doriva, Boateng, Rochemback, Nemeth (Parnaby 69), Ayegbeni.
Subs Not Used: Knight, Hasselbaink, Maccarone.
Goals: Yakubu 33, Boateng 64, Yakubu 88 pen.
Ref: M Dean (Wirral).