The victory saw the Magpies return to the top of the Championship, a place where Brighton and Hove Albion had temporarily occupied following their victory at Barnsley during the weekend.
Rafael Benitez’ men withstood the pressure of playing two days late and raced into the lead on 42 minutes courtesy of Yoan Gouffran’s goal.
The visitors went further behind when they conceded an own goal through Henry Lansbury on 59 minutes as the Geordies held on for the victory.
Albert Adomah was a late substitute for Aston Villa but there was not much the Ghanaian could achieve in the circumstances.
Atsu was thrown on by Benitez in place of Gouffran on 89 minutes for his 18th game of the season, only six of which have been starts.
Newcastle have 69 points, one above Brighton and Hove Albion with Huddersfield in third place on 61 points.