Magpies ease to victory
Newcastle stepped up their claims for a European spot after an inspired first-half display from Hatem Ben Arfa helped seal a 3-1 victory over West Brom at the Hawthorns.
Ben Arfa scored once himself and set up two more goals for striker Papiss Cisse during an opening 45 minutes dominated by Alan Pardew's side.
Albion could only manage a solitary second-half reply from substitute Shane Long as victory moved the Magpies level on points with fifth-placed Chelsea.
Demba Ba forced Baggies goalkeeper Ben Foster to turn his downward volley over the crossbar but after six minutes Cisse put Newcastle ahead.
Ben Arfa supplied the telling low ball across the West Brom six-yard box and Cisse had a simple task to convert.
Ben Arfa doubled their lead after 12 minutes in a lightning counter-attack.
Cisse supplied the telling pass but Ben Arfa still had plenty of work to do as he cut in from the left and beat the dive of Foster with a fierce drive into the far corner of the net.
Cisse struck again after another swift counter-attack by the visitors. Ba back-heeled the ball into the path of the overlapping Ben Arfa and his cross picked out Cisse who made no mistake with a left-footed finish.
A mix-up between Mike Williamson and Newcastle goalkeeper Tim Krul allowed Long to nip in and turn the ball into an empty net to make it 3-1, while worryingly for Newcastle, Cisse was then carried off after seemingly suffering a leg injury.
Albion ended the game with 10 men when James Morrison was carried off after a challenge with Ba.