Leeds United 0 Newcastle United 2: Dwight Gayle sinks teeth into Whites with brace
Dwight Gayle showed he still has plenty of bite after bagging a brace in a knockout victory for Newcastle United.
And Rafa Benitez's side are now FIVE points ahead of second-placed Brighton and Hove Albion.
Gayle – who allegedly lost four teeth and was knocked out in Liverpool last weekend while out for Jamaal Lascelles' birthday – scored a goal in each half in front of a 36,002 crowd at Elland Road.
It was the first league meeting between the two sides at the stadium in more than 13 years, and expectation had been high in the city given Leeds' recent form.
But Newcastle got an early grip of the game – and didn't let go.
There was applause from all sides of the ground in the 11th minute in memory of Gary Speed, who served both clubs with distinction during his playing career.
Gayle, in the headlines this week over an incident in a nightclub last weekend, opened the scoring in the 23rd minute after Leeds goalkeeper Robert Green dropped a hopeful ball forward from Jack Colback.
Garry Monk's side had a penalty claim turned down late in the half.
A cross from Ronaldo Vieira struck Colback, but referee Graham Scott waved play on.
Newcastle saw out the half and came through a difficult few minutes after the breaking before scoring an all-important second goal.
Vurnon Anita broke up the right and his low cross was prodded past Green by an unmarked Gayle.
An object was thrown at Gayle as he celebrated the strike, his 13th of the season. The missile was handed to the fourth official by Scott. Gayle was unhurt.
Try as they might, Leeds just couldn't get themselves back into the match.
Newcastle have won eight league games, and progressed to the quarter-finals of the EFL Cup, since their 1-1 draw against Aston Villa in late September.
LEEDS UNITED: Green, Ayling, Bartley, Roofe, Wood, Doukara (Antonsson, 78), O'Kane, Jansson, Taylor, Phillips, Vieira (Sacko, 62). Subs: Silvestri, Cooper, Dallas, Grimes, Berardi.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Darlow; Anita, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Colback (Hayden, 83), Shelvey; Ritchie, Perez, Gouffran (Diame, 76), Gayle (Mitrovic, 79). Subs: Sels, Yedlin, Mbemba, Atsu.
Goals: Gayle 23, 54
Bookings: Jansson, Colback
Referee: Graham Scott (Oxfordshire)