Andy Carroll rifled in his 10th goal of the season as Alan Pardew's reign as Newcastle boss began with a 3-1 victory over Liverpool.
The 21-year-old blasted home a stunning 25-yard drive in injury-time after Liverpudlians Kevin Nolan and Joey Barton had each scored for the home side.
Dirk Kuyt cancelled out Nolan's 15th-minute opener with a deflected shot five minutes after the break, but Barton and Carroll ensured that the fans went home with cause for cheer.
Those fans had made their feelings about the sacking of Chris Hughton this week abundantly clear with demonstrations outside the stadium before the game, and they did so in greater numbers once it was under way.
The opening goal came when Barton's free-kick was floated perfectly to the far post for Carroll to win a muscular challenge with Sotirios Kyrgiakos and head down for Nolan to fire home his eighth of the season from close range.
In an open encounter, both goalkeepers had to remain alert throughout with Liverpool moving the ball well in an attempt to create space for the returning Fernando Torres, while Newcastle relied largely upon the physical presence of Carroll and strike partner Shola Ameobi.
That trend continued after the restart and the visitors were level within five minutes, thanks in part to a slice of good fortune.
Kuyt did well to trick his way past Sol Campbell, but his shot was deflected past Tim Krul by the unwitting Steven Taylor.
The Magpies took the lead once again with 10 minutes remaining when Carroll and Nile Ranger both helped on Krul's clearance and Barton stole in to snatch all three points.
The stage was set for a nervy conclusion, but Carroll prompted a collective sigh of relief when he crashed home a superb left-footed strike.