Ciaran Clark had the best chance for the home side just before the break after Tim Krul could only tip an inswinging ball from the right, but Clark's first-time shot was straight into the side-netting.
Andreas Weimann then broke clear for Villa but with Benteke to his left he chose to go for goal only to screw his shot well wide, much to the dismay of the home crowd.
Pardew hails Ben Arfa performance
Whatever Paul Lambert said at the break certainly hit a nerve as his side almost blew Newcastle away at the start of the second half as Gabriel Agbonlahor saw an effort deflected wide before he should have equalised.
Matt Lowton played in Weimann on the right and he swung in an excellent cross, but Agbonlahor somehow diverted the ball well wide from just six yards out.
His height added confusion in the Newcastle box, allowing Benteke to score his fifth goal of the season.
It was nothing more than the home side deserved, but with Ben Arfa on the pitch it was Newcastle who always looked the most dangerous.
Did you know?
Villa have conceded a goal in each of their last 13 Premier League matches at Villa Park.
He had one curling effort saved before his long-range effort was not dealt with by Guzan, who could then only watch on as Gouffran fired home.
Papiss Cisse and Cheick Tiote both also went close to adding to the score as Newcastle moved up to eighth in the table, while Villa slipped to 16th.
Aston Villa manager Paul Lambert:
"We never really got going in the first half - credit to Newcastle on that. We got back in the game with Christian's goal. The second goal was a poor goal to concede.
"You pick yourselves up when you go behind and go again. We gave it a right go but you can't start the way we did."
Newcastle United boss Alan Pardew:
"We played very, very well today and I thought some of our play was what it should be at Newcastle. We have a real attacking mode at the club and that's the type of offensive side I want to put out, but I have been unable to do so really since Demba Ba left.
"There were some magnificent performances around the pitch and I thought we were excellent."
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