Manchester City skipper Vincent Kompany was amongst the scorers as the Blues recorded their biggest Premier League win since November - a 4-0 victory over Newcastle.
Carlos Tevez, David Silva and Yaya Toure were also on target against a lacklustre Newcastle outfit, who remain not quite far enough clear of the drop zone for comfort.
With potential back-to-back games against Manchester United looming, little wonder why City manager Roberto Mancini was so concerned at Belgium's use of his captain, who was returning to club duty for the first time in two months after a calf problem.
The opener came when Gael Clichy squeezed a cross through to the far post and Tevez slid in to turn it home.
Then an intricate bit of passing from Yaya Toure and Samir Nasri offered Silva the chance to reach the corner of the six-yard box, where he buried his shot with some aplomb.
Newcastle rallied after the break and Yohan Cabaye flashed a shot across goal after running onto Papiss Cisse's lay-off before the midfielder zipped a shot over from 20 yards.
That flurry was as good as it got for the visitors. And there could be no more appropriate scorer of City's third goal than Kompany.
His last for the Blues was the goal that won the derby in April 2012. This was not quite in the same class, the Belgian flicking home an off-target Gareth Barry effort.
With 20 minutes left, Toure strode through some poor Newcastle defending and beat Rob Elliot at his near post with a shot that deflected off James Perch.