Conor Hourihane and Anwar El Ghazi scored first-half goals to end Aston Villa's three-match losing run in the Premier League, as they beat Newcastle United 2-0 on Steve Bruce's return to Villa Park.

Bruce was sacked by Villa in October 2018, just over four months after losing the Championship play-off final, and he had little to celebrate in Monday's clash.

Martin Dubravka produced a fingertip save to keep out Douglas Luiz's 25-yard drive but was beaten by Hourihane, the midfielder whipping a free-kick around the wall and into the net.

Villa quickly added a second through El Ghazi, who turned in Hourihane's set-piece delivery from close range for his third league goal of the season, though only after a VAR check for offside.

Allan Saint-Maximin, Isaac Hayden and substitute Andy Carroll all tested Tom Heaton in the second half but Newcastle, who had won back-to-back matches ahead of the trip to the Midlands, could not find a way through.

A first home league win in seven attempts against Newcastle lifts Villa up to 15th, just below their opponents.

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