Newcastle United 2 Aston Villa 0: Lansbury shocker as Benitez's side return to top of Championship

Henri Lansbury
Henri Lansbury

Newcastle United returned to the top of the Championship tonight – but the victory came at a cost.

Rafa Benitez's side beat Aston Villa 2-0 at St James's Park thanks to a strike from Yoan Gouffran and an own goal from Henri Lansbury.

And the result means Newcastle lead the division by a point ahead of Saturday's home game against Bristol City.

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The game also saw another Gallowgate Flags display before kick-off time.

But the win was marred by an injury to Dwight Gayle, who had been handed his first start in more than a month after recovering from a hamstring problem.

Gallowgate Flags

Gallowgate Flags

Gayle limped off in the 33rd minute after signalling to the bench and he was replaced by Aleksandar Mitrovic.

And the 20-goal striker is facing another spell on the sidelines.

Villa had made the better start in front of a 50,024 crowd at St James's Park, but Gouffran gave United an undeserved lead before the break.

Gouffran flicked the ball past Sam Johnstone from a goalmouth scramble after a corner.

Lansbury, involved in the incidents which got Jonjo Shelvey and Paul Dummett sent off at the City Ground in early September, put the ball into his own net from a second-half corner.

The midfielder, signed from Nottingham Forest last month, had been booed all game by Newcastle fans.

And there was no way back for 17th-placed Villa, who area 33 points behind Newcastle in the league.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Darlow; Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Colback, Shelvey; Ritchie, Diame, Gouffran (Atsu, 88); Gayle (Mitrovic, 33). Subs not used: Elliot, Hanley, Lazaar, Perez, Gamez.

ASTON VILLA: Johnstone, Hutton, Elphick, Chester, Taylor, Jedinak (Adomah, 71), Hourihane, Lansbury, Bjarnason (Gardner, 82), Kodjia (Bacuna, 82), Hogan. Subs not used: Bunn, Baker, Amavi, Grealish.

Goals: Gouffran 42, Lansbury 59 (og)

Bookings: Shelvey 35, Lascelles 37

Referee: Peter Bankes

Attendance: 50,024