Newcastle United 2 Brighton and Hove Albion 0: Lazaar sees Benitez's side move up to fourth
Newcastle United moved up to fourth place in the Championship tonight.
Achraf Lazaar, set to join from Palermo, was at St James's Park to see Rafa Benitez's side beat 10-man Brighton and Hove Albion 2-0 in a keenly-contested game.
Lazaar today underwent a medical ahead of a proposed Â£3million move to the club, which has also agreed terms with Ipswich Town striker Daryl Murphy.
Captain Jamaal Lascelles and Jonjo Shelvey were on target for Newcastle, who have now won their last three league fixtures.
It was also the club's third clean sheet in the space of a week.
United are four points behind surprise leaders Huddersfield Town going into the international break.
The game also saw new signing DeAndre Yedlin, signed from Tottenham Hotspur this week, make his debut for the club.
Brighton, making their first visit to St James's Park since March 1992, made a positive start, but Lascelles settled the nerves with a fine headed goal from a 15th-minute free-kick from Matt Ritchie.
Yoan Gouffran struck the bar from 30 yards in the 24th minute.
The rest of the half was punctuated by a series of controversial decisions and bookings from referee Keith Stroud, who was booed off the field by Newcastle fans at the break.
Stroud infuriated Brighton, and their 1,800 travelling fans, early in the second half with a decision that saw them go down to 10 men for the final 35 minutes.
The Hampshire official sent off Brighton's Sam Baldock for a second bookable offence in the 55th minute.
Baldock, booked before the interval, clattered Newcastle goalkeeper Matz Sels, who needed treatment.
And Shelvey put the game beyond Chris Hugthon's side in the 64th minute with a superb free-kick after Mohamed Diame was fouled just outside the box.
Yedlin replaced Gouffran late in the game, and former manager Hughton's name was sung by Newcastle's supporters in the dying minutes.
United resume their Championship campaign with a fixture against Derby County at the iPro Stadium on September 10.
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Sels; Anita (Gamez, 72), Lascelles, Mbemba, Dummett; Hayden, Shelvey; Ritchie, Diame (Colback, 81), Gouffran (Yedlin, 88); Perez. Subs not used: Darlow, Clark, Hanley, Armstrong.
BRIGHTON AND HOVE ALBION: Stockdale, Bruno, Duffy, Dunk, Bong; Knockaert, Kayal, Sidwell (Norwood, 68), Skalak (LuaLua, 68); Baldock, Murray (Hemed, 68). Subs not used: Maenpaa, Hunt, Stephens, Murphy.
Goals: Lascelles 15, Shelvey 64
Bookings: Shelvey 22, Perez 34, Ritchie 34, Baldock 45, 55, Lascelles 54, Knockaert 85
Sent off: Baldock 55
Referee: Keith Stroud (Hampshire)