Newcastle registered their first away win of the campaign to plunge fellow strugglers Aston Villa deeper into the Barclays Premier League relegation mire as they recorded a 2-1 victory at Villa Park.
First-half goals from Papiss Cisse and Yohan Cabaye put Newcastle in command and ended a sequence of 17 games without a victory away from St. James' Park in all competitions this season. All Villa could manage in reply was a Christian Benteke penalty early in the second period.
Villa have taken just two points from their last seven games in addition to their double cup setback against lower graded Bradford and Millwall.
The home side looked to have strong claims for a penalty after 14 minutes after Christian Benteke ran onto a pass from Darren Bent. His low cross appeared to strike the hand of Newcastle defender Fabricio Coloccini but referee Mike Dean waved play on.
It came as no surprise when Cisse broke the deadlock for Newcastle after 19 minutes with his seventh goal of the campaign.
Moussa Sissoko supplied the telling pass which was seized onto by Cisse. He kept his composure and drilled a low shot past Brad Guzan into the corner of the net.
Villa tried to retaliate and former Newcastle player Charles N'Zogbia came close to equalising three minutes later. His 25 yard drive contained too much power for Tim Krul but crashed against the woodwork, but Newcastle doubled their lead after 31 minutes with a stunning strike from Cabaye.
Villa skipper Ron Vlaar's headed clearance from a Jonas Gutierrez centre fell straight to the midfielder whose volley from just outside past the box flew past the despairing dive of Guzan.
Villa began the second period with more impetus and Krul was twice tested in quick succession, beating out Andreas Weimann's shot on the turn and then parrying Benteke's fierce drive.
The home side were given a lifeline after 48 minutes when Mathieu Debuchy conceded a penalty after a clumsy challenge on Gabriel Agbonlahor when going away from goal. Up stepped Benteke to send Krul the wrong way from the spot for his 12th goal of the campaign.