Newcastle battered 10-man Fulham into submission to win 2-0 and climb into fourth place in the Premiership table for at least 24 hours with their eighth successive league win at St James' Park.
Sir Bobby Robson's men scored through Nolberto Solano and Craig Bellamy and could even afford a 48th-minute penalty miss from skipper Alan Shearer, still yet to score a top-flight goal against the Londoners, on an afternoon when they might have won by a cricket score.
It was a personal triumph for Solano, who was this week challenged by his manager to fight for his place. He turned in a fine individual display in a team performance which improved the longer it went on.
And Bellamy also brought his influence to bear increasingly as Fulham's tired legs grew heavier by the minute following Pierre Wome's sending-off.
But while the home side, for whom Kieron Dyer was outstanding, finished with a flurry, Robson will have been equally delighted with the way they scrapped when they had to, especially before the break, to keep Fulham at bay.
Newcastle went into the game justifiably proud of their run of seven consecutive Premiership victories in their own back yard and determined not to allow a side which had not won in six outings to end it.
And in an entertaining first half they ensured that their record had every chance of remaining intact.
Fulham, as ever, played some fine flowing football but again as so often in the past, lacked the firepower to make the most of the space they created with Sean Davis and Sylvain Legwinski enjoying a titanic battle with Dyer and Gary Speed in the middle of the park.
The Magpies always looked the more likely to make the most of their possession, but they were no less grateful for a helping hand from Edwin van der Sar.
Keeper van der Sar suffered a 45 minutes he will want to quickly forget as he served up a series of mis-hit clearances to black and white shirts, one of which provided Solano with his opportunity to mark his return to action in style.
Bellamy, under orders to put the keeper under pressure from back-passes, did just that with eight minutes gone and he promptly spooned his clearance to the Peruvian, who chested the ball down before lifting a delicious lob over the hopelessly stranded Dutchman and into the net.
Shearer powered an 11th-minute header into the side-netting after Dyer had surged into space down the right, and both the United skipper and Bellamy tested van der Sar's confidence with well-struck efforts which required solid saves.
But as the visitors regained their composure, they started to put the home defence under greater pressure, although neither Steve Marlet nor makeshift strike partner Steed Malbranque enjoyed any real service, and it was left to Davis and full-back Rufus Brevett to try their luck from distance.
However, Robson's side continued to pose the greater threat and van der Sar's afternoon almost got a lot worse with 21 minutes gone when he again misdirected a clearance to Solano and had to rely on former Sunderland defender Andy Melville to get him out of trouble with a goal-line clearance.
The first-half drew to a close with the teams still separated by Solano's lone strike, but with a crowd of 51,576 knowing there was a lot more football to come.
And they were not to be disappointed.
Shearer rarely misses penalties, but he did so in spectacular style just three minutes after the restart after Davis was harshly penalised for a tug on Dyer's shirt.
But undaunted, the United skipper dusted himself down and then lured van der Sar into an ill-advised challenge which cost him a booking and ultimately ended his afternoon through injury a few minutes later.
The Dutchman kept out a low Shearer drive from the resulting free-kick before making way for Maik Taylor on 62 minutes, but he can hardly have settled himself into the bath before he was joined by Wome, who was dismissed for a dreadful challenge on Andy Griffin three minutes later.
United were dominating, but it was not until the 70th-minute that they made the pressure tell, Dyer robbing Davis before feeding Bellamy, who showed Melville a clean pair of heels before firing home left-footed.
The Welshman could have doubled his tally within three minutes, but was this time denied by Taylor, but the pressure was mounting all the time.
Taylor threw up an arm to keep out Robert's 81st-minute piledriver, but it was one-way traffic as time ran down.
And the Frenchman should have wrapped it up in style in injury-time after being played in by substitute Shola Ameobi, but the home supporters left more than happy with another three points regardless.
Kieron Dyer put in a superb display in Newcastle`s midfield to help see off
10-man Fulham at St James` Park today.
The 23-year-old, who incurred the wrath of his manager Sir Bobby Robson in
Barcelona recently, was at the centre of most of his side's best work as goals
from Nolberto Solano and Craig Bellamy clinched an eighth successive Premiership
home win to leave the Magpies fourth in the table.
Dyer's tireless display alongside Gary Speed eventually snuffed out the threat
of Sean Davis and Sylvain Legwinski to leave his manager purring.
'Dyer made tackles I've never seen him make,' he said.
'I thought he gave a colossal performance - I thought he and Gary Speed were
'Dyer and Speed today were just absolutely magnificent.
'I just reminded Dyer that it's his first game since Barcelona at home and he
needed to show the public that he was sorry for what he did in Barcelona. He
just erased that situation by his performance.
'He was absolutely terrific. When you see Dyer like that there's not much
better in midfield in the country than him. He was fantastic.'
Newcastle captain Alan Shearer could even afford a 48th-minute penalty miss to
go with the one he saw saved by Edwin van der Sar at Craven Cottage last season
as Solano and Bellamy wrapped up the points either side of half-time.
'It was a surprise penalty miss by Alan, of course,' said Robson.
'He obviously changed the side - he missed one last year against van der Sar
when he hit a very good penalty which the goalkeeper read and went early.
'I think that just tweaked Alan's mind, and he went the other side. We've got
some builders in to repair the stand!
'Alan was disappointed. But he made a big contribution.'
Solano fired Newcastle in front after just eight minutes when he capitalised
on van der Sar's error - and then after Pierre Wome had been sent off for a bad
challenge on Andy Griffin Bellamy made sure of the points.
Fulham boss Jean Tigana was left with a growing injury list after van der Sar
limped off with a foot injury before Bellamy struck.
'It's very hard, but I knew that when we started in the Intertoto Cup,' he
'I said the hard time for us would be in November and December because there
are so many games and we have no one to play. That's the problem.
'I think we started well, and in the firsthalf, we had a few chances to
score. It was a bad time for us to make a mistake, and we let them score
'We have to keep working, and I hope it's possible to get back a few players.
I had only one striker in my team and in midfield. I have five strikers out as
well, so it's difficult.
Tigana backed van der Sar after the error which led to Newcastle's first goal
but was less impressed with Wome's 65th-minute aberration.
'It was a stupid thing,' he said.
'It's not acceptable.'
Robson has no such concerns and said: 'This time last year we were top - and
we'll make it difficult for other teams to win it.'