Newcastle United have moved back to the top of the Sky Bet Championship with a routine 2-0 win away to Wigan Athletic.
Mohamed Diame scored his first league goal for the Magpies against his former team in the 16th minute, as Newcastle dominated the first half.
Christian Atsu came off the bench to seal the win and sends Newcastle top of the pile as they left the DW Stadium.
Diame was considered man of the match in the away side’s win over Birmingham City on Saturday and continued where he left off when he forced Jussi Jaaskelainen into a good save in the sixth minute. The midfielder’s shot was hurtling towards the top corner, but the goalkeeper made a terrific diving save to palm the ball away from 30 yards.
Yoan Gouffran was starting in a wide left position for the promotion favourites, but as you would expect, he tended to come inside onto his right foot. When he did that in the 16th minute, the space opened up for a shot from the edge of the box, but Gouffran’s effort flashed well over.
The goal was coming for Newcastle and Wigan’s defence was breached in the 26th minute. As well as being a former Wigan player, Diame played alongside Jaaskelainen at West Ham United but he beat the goalkeeper with a powerful effort from six yards after a nice one-two with Isaac Hayden.
Rafael Benitez’s side went about their task of adding to the lead, but found Jaaskelainen in a determined form. Jonjo Shelvey’s driven effort from the edge of the box looked to have found its way into the bottom corner, but Wigan’s Icelandic goalkeeper got down low to tip the shot around the post and keep the score at 1-0 heading into the second half.
The Latics came out for the second half with renewed ambition and could have pulled level on more than occasion. Yanic Wildschut’s corner was flashed wide at the near post by Will Grigg while Karl Darlow made a great save to deny Andy Kellett at the back post from Stephen Warnock’s low cross.
In the end, Newcastle’s class shone through as they grabbed a second goal to the seal the win in the 78th minute. Gouffran got free on the left wing and swung in a low cross that Diame missed, but the ball fell to the substitute Atsu who made no mistake by firing into the roof of the net from ten yards. It was a goal Newcastle saw coming on the break and the win means they reclaim their spot at the top of the Championship.
Match Report by Kyle Dixon (@kyledixon95)