Wigan Athletic 0 Newcastle United 2: Diame and Atsu send club back to top

Mohamed Diame, left, and Yoan Gouffran
Mohamed Diame, left, and Yoan Gouffran

Newcastle United returned to the top of the Championship tonight.

Goals from Mohamed Diame and Christian Atsu gave Rafa Benitez's side a hard-fought 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium, where the club was backed by more than 4,000 fans.

And the result saw Newcastle go a point clear of second-placed Brighton and Hove Albion ahead of Saturday's game against Burton Albion at the Pirelli Stadium.

United made a positive start, and Diame gave them the lead with a superb 26th minute goal.

The former Wigan midfielder broke forward from the right and exchanged passed with Isaac Hayden on the edge of the box before beating Jussi Jaaskelainen with a side-footed finish.

Newcastle were dominant before the break, but it was a different story in the second half.

They were given a series of scares by Warren Joyce's committed side before Benitez replaced Matt Ritchie with Atsu in the 69th minute.

And the winger made sure of all three points with a clinical finish 12 minutes from time after a good move down the left.

WIGAN ATHLETIC: Jaaskelainen, Garbutt (Kellett, 20), Warnock, Buxton, Morgan (Burn, 68), Power, MacDonald, Perkins, Jacobs, Wildschut, Grigg. Subs not used: Lavercombe, Byrne, Le Fondre, Gomez, Davies.

NEWCASTLE UNITED: Darlow; Anita, Lascelles, Clark, Dummett; Shelvey, Hayden; Ritchie (Atsu, 69), Diame, Gouffran; Gayle (Perez, 82). Subs not used: Sels, Yedlin, Lazaar, Mbemba, Mitrovic.

Goals: Diame 26, Atsu 78

Bookings: Hayden 32

Referee: Simon Hooper (Wiltshire)

Attendance: 14,562