(Reuters) - Newcastle United returned to the top of the English Championship after Ayoze Perez’s 89th-minute winner gave them a 2-1 comeback victory over Brighton & Hove Albion on Tuesday in a battle of the second tier’s top two.
Perez stroked home Christian Atsu’s cross at the Amex Stadium, eight minutes after Newcastle had drawn level with a freak equaliser from Mohamed Diame. Glenn Murray had scored a 14th-minute penalty for Brighton.
The victory moved Newcastle two points clear of their rivals at the summit with 12 games of the season remaining.
Brighton had taken the lead when Murray was pulled back from a corner and then stepped up to fire home from the spot for his 17th goal of the season.
The lead lasted until the 81st minute when Newcastle drew level thanks to a fortuitous goal from Diame.
Atsu miscued a volley goalwards which deflected off a team mate and then off Diame’s heel before looping into the top corner.
Atsu was then the architect of Newcastle’s winner as he broke into the area from the left and crossed for Perez to slot in unmarked from 10 metres.
Blackburn’s hopes of avoiding relegation were boosted as they secured a 1-0 win over Derby County who are now winless in six league games, while Aston Villa won 2-0 at home to Bristol City.
Reporting by Toby Davis; Editing by Clare Fallon