Match ends, Newcastle United 3, Swansea City 0.
Newcastle United 3-0 Swansea City
Newcastle claimed a first win under Rafael Benitez as they overcame Swansea to bolster their chances of Premier League survival.
Jamaal Lascelles headed in from a corner to put Newcastle in front towards the end of an edgy first half.
Ashley Williams and Jefferson Montero missed chances as the Swans dominated after the break, but Moussa Sissoko and Andros Townsend struck late goals.
Newcastle are now three points adrift of safety, while Swansea drop to 15th.
Hope for Newcastle
Newcastle had found themselves in the unfamiliar position of cheering a Sunderland victory earlier in the day.
Their rivals' win at fellow strugglers Norwich kept Newcastle within six points of safety going into this encounter, and Benitez's side seemed buoyed by that result.
They started at a quick tempo and forced Swansea's Lukasz Fabianski into early saves from Vurnon Anita and Andros Townsend.
The first half failed to ignite, however, as the tension of Newcastle's predicament made for an uneasy atmosphere at St James' Park.
That was until Townsend's corner found Lascelles, who shrugged off Gylfi Sigurdsson's tug to head in via a deflection from Fabianski.
There were some anxious moments for the home crowd as Swansea pressed in the second half, but Sissoko's low strike from another Townsend corner settled those nerves.
Townsend himself added a final gloss to the scoreline - and took Newcastle's goal difference to within one of Norwich's - with a calm, low finish as time ticked down.
Swans lacking purpose
Having already amassed 40 points and all but secured a sixth successive season in the Premier League, Swansea had little to play for.
Francesco Guidolin's men had won on their last three visits to St James' Park but lacked purpose and intensity on this occasion.
Ecuadorian winger Montero, impressive in the preceding win over Chelsea, was erratic, while other usually influential players such as Sigurdsson struggled to impose themselves on the game.
Lascelles' goal also exposed a vulnerability at set-pieces, which Guidolin had previously highlighted as a concern.
Swansea improved in the second half but squandered their chances to equalise, with Williams powering a half-volley wide and Montero missing from close range.
What happens next?
|Newcastle's 2015-16 run-in|
|Tue 19 April||Man City (H)|
|Sat 23 April||Liverpool (A)|
|Sat 30 April||Crystal Palace (H)|
|Sat 7 May||Aston Villa (A)|
|Sun 15 May||Tottenham (H)|
Newcastle have now narrowed the gap between themselves and Norwich in 17th place to three points.
Benitez's side have a game in hand, albeit against Champions League semi-finalists Manchester City, at home on Tuesday.
Encouragingly for Newcastle, three of their remaining five matches are at St James' Park with the penultimate fixture against already relegated Aston Villa.
Man of the match - Jamaal Lascelles
What they said
Newcastle manager Rafael Benitez: "I have to say congratulations to the players. They showed passion and commitment. Thank you to the fans. If we stick together then it's easier for us to approach the game and gives us the chance to win.
"The players that started were really good. And the other players who came on helped the team. Today we saw what we expect from this team. We have to show the same in the other games."
Swansea head coach Francesco Guidolin: "I think Newcastle deserved to win. In the second half we had situations and possibilities to score. It's a bad day for us. We have to look ahead to the next match away to Leicester.
"I know my job and I know football. We know that Newcastle play with fight, but we were ready for this game. These things can happen. After many important results this was not a good day."
Stats you need to know
- Andros Townsend has already assisted as many Premier League goals for Newcastle (two) in eight appearances as he did for Tottenham in 50 appearances.
- Swansea lost an away Premier League game by three goals for the first time since December 2014, when they were beaten 4-1 at Liverpool.
- Newcastle kept only their second clean sheet in their last 18 Premier League games.
- The Swans failed to score in an away Premier League game for the first time in 2016.
- Rafael Benitez became the second Premier League manager to win on his birthday on two occasions, along with Arsene Wenger.
- 8AnitaBooked at 73mins
- 18MbembaBooked at 22mins
- 24TiotéSubstituted forShelveyat 66'minutes
- 5WijnaldumSubstituted forPérezat 73'minutes
- 9CisséSubstituted forMitrovicat 80'minutes
- 10de Jong
- 8FerBooked at 9minsSubstituted forBarrowat 57'minutes
- 10A AyewSubstituted forGomisat 71'minutes
- 9PaloschiSubstituted forRoutledgeat 84'minutes
- Lee Mason
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Newcastle United 3, Swansea City 0.
Attempt missed. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right. Assisted by Ayoze Pérez with a through ball.
Attempt blocked. Gylfi Sigurdsson (Swansea City) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Angel Rangel.
Attempt missed. Bafétimbi Gomis (Swansea City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Wayne Routledge with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Jack Colback.
Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Paul Dummett.
Corner, Swansea City. Conceded by Chancel Mbemba.
Goal! Newcastle United 3, Swansea City 0. Andros Townsend (Newcastle United) left footed shot from the right side of the box to the centre of the goal. Assisted by Aleksandar Mitrovic with a through ball.
Delay over. They are ready to continue.
Delay in match Jack Cork (Swansea City) because of an injury.
Federico Fernández (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United).
Jefferson Montero (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Vurnon Anita (Newcastle United).
Attempt saved. Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Moussa Sissoko with a headed pass.
Substitution, Swansea City. Wayne Routledge replaces Alberto Paloschi.
Foul by Neil Taylor (Swansea City).
Andros Townsend (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Goal! Newcastle United 2, Swansea City 0. Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom left corner following a corner.
Attempt blocked. Aleksandar Mitrovic (Newcastle United) header from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Andros Townsend with a cross.
Corner, Newcastle United. Conceded by Federico Fernández.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Aleksandar Mitrovic replaces Papiss Demba Cissé.
Angel Rangel (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United).
Foul by Modou Barrow (Swansea City).
Ayoze Pérez (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Bafétimbi Gomis (Swansea City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Federico Fernández.
Attempt missed. Bafétimbi Gomis (Swansea City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Modou Barrow.
Attempt missed. Jefferson Montero (Swansea City) left footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Bafétimbi Gomis.
Substitution, Newcastle United. Ayoze Pérez replaces Georginio Wijnaldum.
Vurnon Anita (Newcastle United) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Jefferson Montero (Swansea City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Vurnon Anita (Newcastle United).
Substitution, Swansea City. Bafétimbi Gomis replaces André Ayew.
Attempt missed. Ashley Williams (Swansea City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right following a set piece situation.
Jack Cork (Swansea City) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Moussa Sissoko (Newcastle United).
Substitution, Newcastle United. Jonjo Shelvey replaces Cheick Tioté.
Foul by André Ayew (Swansea City).