Fabian Schar’s quickfire double set Newcastle on their way to a 3-1 win at Aston Villa, ending a run of four straight Premier League defeats and consigning Unai Emery’s side to their first home loss of the season.
The Swiss defender scored twice in five first-half minutes before an own goal from Alex Moreno all but sealed the victory early in the second half.
Ollie Watkins scored a consolation goal for Villa, who have won only one of their last five Premier League matches.
Villa started on the front foot and pinned Newcastle inside their own half, but they struggled to break the visitors down.
Anthony Gordon had a great chance to open the scoring for Newcastle as he dribbled around two Villa defenders in the box before shooting, but Emiliano Martinez smothered the winger’s effort.
Gordon had another chance to open the scoring following a counter-attack, but his deflected strike went over the crossbar.
It was from the Kieran Trippier’s corner that Newcastle took the lead on 32 minutes, with Schar getting in front of Ezri Konsa and finding the bottom-right corner from close range.
Trippier’s eighth assist of the season moves him level with Mohamed Salah and Watkins in the race for the Playmaker award.
Schar then scored again four minutes later as he reacted quickest to a rebound. A deflected shot from Gordon cannoned off the crossbar and Schar poked it past Martinez to make it 2-0.
Newcastle continued to play on the break and scored a third when Alex Moreno put the ball into his own net from Miguel Almiron’s cross seven minutes into the second half.
The hosts pushed forward as they sought a way back into the game, and Villa did pull a goal back in the 71st minute when Watkins got on the end of a low cross from Leon Bailey to score his 50th Premier League goal.
Villa’s energy levels increased and Watkins thought he had scored a second goal two minutes later as he lifted the ball over Martin Dubravka and into the net, but it was ruled out for offside.
Sean Longstaff was denied a fourth goal for Newcastle as his shot from point-blank range was saved by Martinez, but it mattered not as the Magpies secure only their second away win of the season, moving them up to seventh on 32 points.
Villa stay fourth with 43 points, five behind leaders Liverpool having played one match more, after their 17-match unbeaten home run came to an end.