Fabian Schar scored twice as Newcastle punished Aston Villa 3-1 to become the first team to beat them in the Premier League at Villa Park this season.
Eddie Howe’s side ended a run of four defeats to win away for the first time since September, on top even before Schar scored twice in four minutes late in the first half.
Alex Moreno’s own goal added to the lead, Ollie Watkins’ effort not enough for Villa.The victory lifted Newcastle up to seventh in the table. Even one point would have been enough to move Unai Emery’s side above reigning champions Manchester City and into third. Instead, they will need to improve on this to hang on to a top-four finish.
The centre half’s pair of close-range finishes gave Howe’s side a 2-0 lead at half time at Villa Park, after their confident start caught the hosts on the back foot.
Alex Moreno then inadvertently applied the final touch to Jacob Murphy’s attempt shortly after the break to put the Magpies in control, and though Ollie Watkins’ strike preceded a spell of pressure from the hosts, they couldn’t haul themselves back into the contest as the points headed back to Tyneside.