Newcastle 2 Aston Villa 0 – Monday 20 February 8pm

We asked a number of our regular writers to give us a brief instant reaction after the final whistle:

Leazes Park Ender:

“Karma on display there tonight. Lansbury on that near post with the OG, a nice moment after his antics at the City Ground back in December.

“It was that moment which offered the breathing space and handed us what proved to be a pretty comfortable three points, watched on by a great home crowd and a minibus load of Villa fans.

“It wasn’t a great opening to the game but Gouffran poached one, and to be fair, Villa made it tough.

“There were signs at Norwich we were playing well again and second half tonight we showed some good signs.

“The blemish on the night was Gayle limping off but Mitrovic came on and he did well here.

“On 69 points, on to the next one. One step closer to promotion.”

Jamie Smith:

“Forgettable first half with excellent early atmosphere created by the sterling work of Gallowgate flags, but it fell a bit flat after the first twenty and reverted to type a bit.

“Villa were spoiling everything but the break came before half time and there was only one winner from there.

“Nice spot of karma with the Lansbury o.g. And felt we could have had a couple more but the win we essentially needed is banked. On to Bristol City.”

Scott:

“3 points and a clean sheet.

“Hope Gayle ain’t too bad.

“Another game ticked off. One closer. We battled and were deserved winners in my book.”

Paul Lyon:

“It was very important to get that goal in the 1st half, do I care that we got it probably against the balance of play? As it’s against Villa not one bit!!

“2nd half was much better and I think it was aided by our 1st half goal.

“Poetic justice prevailed when Lansbury scored a hilarious own goal to make it two, really enjoyed that.

“By no means a classic but I’d take 2-0 wins all the way to promotion.

“I thought the giant surfer and Rafa flags looked great!”

Ben Cooper:

“Comfortable win once we had scored.

“Fair play to the lads, they worked really hard even when they realised Villa were rubbish.

“The team was epitomised by Diame, not great but worked his socks off and that is good enough for me.

“Villa though, Alan Hutton was their best player, hilarious.

“There could be 2 divisions between these teams next season. Which is nice.”

Toon Bano:

“Another awful performance in front of the Sky cameras.

“At this stage of the season it doesn’t matter how you play as long as you win but my God. Can someone please explain to me what Diame does to warrant first choice No.10?

“If you were to just look at our stats you would think we were flying but I can count on one hand the quality performances we have put in this season.

“3 points. Top of the league. Now we need to beat Bristol City then confirm promotion with results in the ‘Big 3’ away games.”

George Stainsby:

“Better second half.

“And karma… thank you!”

Kevin Christie:

“Easy day at the office in the end.

“Solid performance from the defence gave us the platform to claim a stress-free win.

“Darlow’s save was crucial too – helped ensure a nerve-free finish on a night where we never got out of second gear.

“Lack of threat going forward is a worry and we created very little in open play. Mitro will never be a goalscorer – hopefully Gayle won’t be out for long!

“Pity Atsu didn’t get on for longer too.

“Big games coming thick and fast now. Once we can avoid defeat in the three away games against our direct rivals, then we should be on the home straight. HWTL!”

Jamie Swan

“I honestly thought that Angela Lansbury died a few years back, so it made me chuckle to see her not only alive, but well enough to be pulling on a Claret and Blue shirt.

“Good on you pet. Probably wished she hadn’t bothered whilst sticking it in her own net like.

“No murdering of the Villa team tonight but they are in a world of pain and could have been put to the sword, had we not stayed in the dressing room for the first 40 minutes.

“Still grinding out results, back to the top.

“Due a really good performance or three, let’s hope we are saving them up for tougher tasks.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 2 Aston Villa 0

Newcastle: Gouffran 42, Lansbury OG 59

Possession was Villa  45% Newcastle 55%

Total shots were Villa 8 Newcastle 14

Shots on target were Villa 1 Newcastle 6

Corners were Villa 4 Newcastle 6

Referee: Peter Bankes

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Yedlin, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Ritchie, Colback, Shelvey, Gouffran (Atsu 89), Diame, Gayle (Mitrovic 33)

Unused Subs:

Elliot, Hanley, Gamez, Perez, Lazaar

Crowd: 50,024 (Villa 1,707)