NEWCASTLE, England (AP) Newcastle closed the gap on its relegation rivals by beating Swansea 3-0 in the English Premier League on Saturday.
Defender Jamaal Lascelles opened the scoring 41 minutes into the match with a header from Andros Townsend's corner. Moussa Sissoko got Newcastle's second goal in the 82nd before Townsend beat goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski with a fine finish to make it 3-0.
It was Newcastle's first win in eight games as well as its first victory under manager Rafa Benitez. The Magpies remain in 19th place, three points from safety with a game in hand over 17th-place Norwich. Swansea is 15th.
The result means that Newcastle finally has some momentum leading into the last five games of its season, and fans will believe that their team can survive if this level of performance continues.
Goals from Lascelles, Sissoko and Townsend crowned what was a highly polished display from the Premier League strugglers.
''We needed to win this game to believe for the rest of the season. I'm very happy and proud,'' said Sissoko, before adding ''we need to keep pushing.''
Newcastle plays Manchester City next.