Blackburn woes continue
Newcastle climbed to fifth place in the Barclays Premier League after a 1-0 victory over Blackburn that left Steve Kean's strugglers rueing a host of missed chances.
The visitors went ahead in the 12th minute when Ryan Taylor's speculative 25-yard effort took a wicked deflection off Scott Dann, but Rovers dominated the rest of the first half, with Danny Simpson clearing off the line and Leon Best heading against his own bar before David Dunn saw his penalty saved by Tim Krul.
The second half was a quieter affair but Anthony Modeste, Scott Dann and Mauro Formica all missed good chances to earn Rovers what would have been a deserved share of the spoils before Gabriel Obertan rubbed salt into the wound with a late second.
Rovers had shown encouraging form of late, picking up eight points from their previous five games, but Newcastle dominated the early possession and took the lead in the 12th minute, albeit with a huge slice of luck.
A mix-up between Radosav Petrovic and Dann let in the visitors but Taylor's shot was speculative at best before it took a wicked deflection off the defender, leaving Paul Robinson helpless.
Rovers reacted well and were almost level immediately but Gael Givet's volley from Morten Gamst Pedersen's corner was cleared off the line by Simpson and the defender poked the rebound wide.
The hosts at last saw something go their way two minutes before the break when referee Phil Dowd awarded a penalty after Simpson barged into Modeste. But Dunn's spot-kick was weak and easily saved by Krul, who also stopped Givet's tame follow-up.
Blackburn failed to find the same fluency after half-time and Steve Kean attempted to inject a bit more creativity by replacing Petrovic with Formica, and they created a glorious chance with 67 minutes gone. Pedersen released Modeste but the striker showed a lack of composure in rushing his shot and screwed it well wide with only Krul to beat.
It was at least a glimmer for the Blackburn fans to cheer and moments later Dann headed Pedersen's free-kick straight at Krul from close range. Rovers fans were celebrating with 10 minutes to go when Martin Olsson's deflected shot fell into the path of Formica, but they then realised the Argentinian had in fact fired into the side netting.
Blackburn were throwing everything at Newcastle and James Perch produced a great block to keep out a Givet shot after Krul had flapped at a corner while Modeste's well-struck volley was straight at the keeper. But their hopes were ended in injury time when substitute Obertan ended a quick break with the sort of clinical finish Rovers sorely lacked.