Gouffran strike secures victory
Newcastle's steady improvement this season continued as Yoan Gouffran's strike earned them a 2-1 win at Aston Villa.
The Magpies were ahead in the 18th minute when poor Villa defending allowed Hatem Ben Arfa the chance to convert.
The hosts levelled through Christian Benteke's header in the 67th minute, but Newcastle went back in front in the 73rd when Brad Guzan palmed away the impressive Ben Arfa's shot and substitute Gouffran pounced.
There has been plenty of talk about doom and gloom around Newcastle after a summer that only yielded one signing in loan capture Loic Remy, who made his first start for the club here.
But since they lost their first Barclays Premier League game of the campaign 4-0 against Manchester City, the three other top-flight fixtures for Alan Pardew's men this term have seen them draw 0-0 with West Ham, beat Fulham 1-0 and then record this victory over Villa.
Villa, on the other hand, began the season with a 3-1 win at Arsenal, but have now lost three league matches in a row.
A good tackle from Mathieu Debuchy took the ball away from Gabriel Agbonlahor in the box early on, and while each side did their best to probe in the opening exchanges, neither had much joy in finding a way through.
That changed just after the quarter-hour mark when slack Villa play allowed Newcastle to snatch the lead.
Karim El Ahmadi was hustled into losing possession and the ball was picked up on the left by Remy, who managed to evade Matthew Lowton and fashion a cut-back into the danger zone.
There were several Villa players in the box but the pass came via Papiss Cisse to Ben Arfa, and the France midfielder had little trouble finishing from close range.
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