Newcastle claimed a vital three points away to Cardiff with a 2-1 win thanks largely to two first-half goals from Loic Remy.
The French striker put his side ahead with a 20-yard strike after 30 minutes, before doubling the lead with a superb side-footed finish after a David Marshall parry soon after.
Cardiff clawed one back after the break through Peter Odemwingie, but could not make amends for a first half which saw the Bluebirds dominated by the visitors.
The victory was Newcastle's seventh consecutive win over its Welsh opponent - a record that stretches back to 1981.
|By Ian Capasso
Newcastle snatched a crucial three points on the road against Cardiff on the back of a dazzling first-half performance highlighted by Loic Remy's double.
The Frenchman was simply irresistible and tore apart the Bluebirds' defense to beat David Marshall with a pair of precision low drives in the span of eight minutes to bring his goals tally to five in his last three Premier League appearances.
Cardiff improved markedly after the break following a dismal first half, and looked to possibly be staging a cracking comeback when Peter Odemwingie coolly slotted home on 68 minutes, but couldn't find an equalizer despite putting on plenty of late pressure.
The Magpies see themselves in the top half of the table, at least temporarily, with the win, while Malky Mackay's men could see themselves just above the bottom three by the end of the weekend should results go against them.
Cardiff was unchanged from the side that picked up a 2-1 victory at Fulham last weekend, meaning there was no place for former Newcastle man Craig Bellamy, while Alan Pardew made three changes from Monday night's breathless 3-2 defeat to Everton.
Yohan Cabaye was reintroduced to the starting lineup alongside Mike Williamson and Papiss Cisse, with Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa, Vurnon Anita and Hatem Ben Arfa dropped to the bench.
Fraizer Campbell put visiting goalkeeper Tim Krul under pressure in the opening minutes, but squandered a chance to capitalize on the Dutchman's careless run off his goal-line by slipping at the crucial moment.
But, as Newcastle began to settle into the tie, Marshall showed lightning-quick reactions to superbly deny Remy from close range before the Frenchman's weak effort was gratefully gathered by the Scot.
However, after half an hour, Remy found the net at the third attempt. The Frenchman picked up the ball on the left wing, before bringing it inside and drilling a low strike beyond a fully-stretched Marshall from 20 yards.
Remy then doubled his side's lead eight minutes later - reacting quickest to a parried Cisse effort to guide the ball into the bottom-right corner of the net from the edge of the penalty area. It was the Frenchman's fifth goal in his last three Premier League appearances.
The visitors could have been three up before the break, but Cabaye's audacious 30-yard free kick struck the bottom of the right post.
Malky McKay brought on last week's goal hero Jordon Mutch for the second half, and his presence in the Cardiff midfield proved the catalyst for an improved second-half display.
The hosts were able to pull one back just before the hour mark. Aron Gunnarsson showed good pace down the left, before finding Odemwingie in space in the area, and the striker showed great patience in waiting for the perfect opportunity to send the ball beyond Krul.
Newcastle had a chance to restore its two-goal lead just moments later when Moussa Sissoko attempted to apply the finish to a promising counterattacking move, but Marshall was on hand to deny the midfielder.
There was some outrage among the visiting fans as Remy was withdrawn with 20 minutes left to play, although the in-form forward had taken a knock.
Mutch had a late chance to pull the hosts level, but Krul got down well to smother, before claims of handball against Andrew Taylor at the other end were waved away by referee Kevin Friend as the hosts slipped to their second consecutive home defeat.
- Sports & Recreation
- Peter Odemwingie