Newcastle went top of the Championship as Dwight Gayle’s two goals earned them victory over Barnsley at Oakwell and a fourth straight league win.
Gayle forced home his 10th of the season early in the second half after the home side failed to clear a corner.
And the former Crystal Palace striker increased the lead from the edge of the box from Matt Ritchie’s through ball.
Barnsley’s Sam Morsy was just too high with a 25-yarder and they have now taken only one point from six games.
Rafael Benitez’s Magpies, relegated from the Premier League last season, have won nine of their past 11 league games, and overtake Norwich at the summit who let a two-goal lead slip to draw at Fulham.
Newcastle went into the game having won only once previously in 15 league visits to Oakwell – a 5-0 success in 1983 when Kevin Keegan was among the scorers.
Barnsley had skipper Conor Hourihane back after missing Saturday’s 4-2 loss to Fulham with a calf strain and they gave as good as they got for much of the first half, with full-back James Bree driving just wide after a free-kick rebounded to him off the defensive wall.
Gayle’s double prompted head coach Paul Heckingbottom to make changes in a bid to rescue the game, with winger Adam Hammill clearly unhappy to be substituted.
The Magpies almost added a third late on as Jonjo Shelvey played an excellent free-kick into the box, but keeper Adam Davies reacted well to keep out the livewire Gayle’s flick.
Barnsley manager Paul Heckingbottom:
“We worked our socks off, went toe-to-toe with the top of the league and two lapses in concentration cost us the game and they gave us absolutely nothing.
“Dwight Gayle was the difference and that’s what they paid all that money for.
“On another day we might have got something from the game. It was much better tonight, but we’ve got to keep improving and aim higher.”
“[Adam Hammill] showing a lack of respect to his team-mates is not on. He is frustrated, but I had a big problem with him not showing the lads respect.”
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