Charlton 1 Aston Villa 4
Aston Villa showed their Premier League quality as they beat the Addicks 4-1 in Chris Solly’s testimonial game at The Valley on Saturday.
Charlton played some nice football, with Chuks Aneke in particular impressing before limping off, but the visitors' class shone through especially in a strong second half showing.
The Addicks started in Bowyer’s favoured 4-4-2 diamond formation with new boy Deji Oshilaja in holding midfield and Jonny Williams operating in behind the front two.
Charlton began brightly and Jake Forster-Caskey had first sight at goal when he fired just over in the third minute. His midfield partner Darren Pratley flicked a header wide 10 minutes later and as Villa began to control possession Bowyer moved into a 3-5-2 formation with Oshilaja dropping back into defence.
Conor Hourihane’s free kick flew over the crossbar, Anwar El Ghazi had a shot deflected over and Neil Taylor curled wide with his right foot as the Villa pressure increased.
In the meantime the Addicks played some nice passing football but they were unable to test former Charlton keeper Jed Steer.
Villa took the lead though when Jack Grealish showed his class, cleverly playing in Anwar El Ghazi after some patient build-up from the visitors. The Dutch international made no mistake, calmly flicking past Dillon Phillips from eight yards.
Ahmed El Mohamady nearly doubled the visitors lead just before the half time break when he headed wide from a Grealish free kick.
The Addicks came out for the second half and immediately forced Steer into action. The goalkeeper got down quickly to deny Aneke after a neat Addicks move.
Aneke then had an effort blocked away after some brilliant interplay between Forster-Caskey and Pratley.
Villa did double their lead when they forced an overload on a counter attack down their left and substitute Andre Green placed home with precision.
John McGinn made it a quick fire double with a deflected effort from just outside the area as the visitors surged.
After the Villa onslaught the Addicks got a foot back in the game when Taylor drew a penalty from Charlton academy graduate Ezri Konsa. The striker stepped up to calmly place the penalty in off the post to restore the deficit to two goals.
Ben Purrington nearly grabbed another back when he just couldn’t quite match his Wembley heroics as he tried to get in at the back post to get on the end of a Callum Harriott cross.
Villa made it 4-1 in the last 10 minutes when McGinn danced around the Charlton defence before smashing into the goal for his second of the afternoon.
Following the full-time whistle Solly thanked Aston Villa and their fans for attending before getting a warm reception from the Charlton faithful.
Charlton: Phillips (Amos 45); Solly (C) (Dijksteel 88), Lockyer, Sarr, Purrington; Oshilaja (Lapslie 67), Pratley (Harriott 67), Forster-Caskey, Williams (Doughty 81); Aneke (Morgan 77), Taylor (Bonne 86)
Subs (not used): Pearce, Wiredu
Goal: Taylor 65 (pen)
Aston Villa: Steer, Taylor (Target 67), McGinn, Grealish, Hourihane (Hause 67), Davis (Hogan 67), El Ghazi (Guilbert 45), Trezeguet (Jota 45), El Mohamady (Green 45), Konsa (Lansbury 67), Mings (Engels 84)
Subs (not used): Kalinic, Bree,
Goals: El Ghazi 38, Green 55, McGinn 57, 83
Attendance: 7,532 (2,980 from Aston Villa)
Referee: C Breakspear