Everton won at home in the Premier League for the first time since November with a 3-0 victory thanks to a brace of penalties by Ross Barkley and Aaron Lennon's second goal in four days.
The Blues led through Lennon's first-half opener and could have put the game to bed a lot earlier but were looking nervy going into the final quarter of an hour after Aleksander Mitrovic had missed a sitter for Newcastle.
Roberto Martinez's side were finally able to kill the game and put a deserved gloss on the scoreline in the final few minutes, though, when Lennon was hauled down by Rolando Aarons in the box and Barkley slammed home confidently from the spot on his 100th appearance for the club.
Barkley was then sent tumbling by Jamaal Lascelles in stoppage time as he was about to shoot earning the defender a red card and another spot kick for the midfielder who chipped the unlucky Rob Eliott with an audacious Panenka-style shot.
Everton were full value for the victory, having dominated the game and came close to put the relegation-threatened Magpies to the sword well before the Blues' first two penalties of the season arrived late on.
Only heroics from stand-in goalkeeper Rob Elliot kept the scoreline down in the second half as he tipped Barkley's impressive shot onto the crossbar, turned Tom Cleverley's free kick past his near post and may have helped Jonjo Shelvey's looping back-header onto the woodwork with a touch as the Blues pressed hard for a second goal.
And when Elliot should have been beaten, Arouna Kone sliced two very good chances into the Park End before defensive blunders handed Barkley the responsibility of killing the game from the spot.
With minor injuries to John Stones and Tim Howard, Martinez was forced into two changes from his usual first XI so Ramiro Funes Mori and Phil Jagielka partnered each other in central defence and Joel Robles continued in goal.
Perhaps with an eye on Saturday's trip to Stoke, Leighton Baines was named among the substitutes while Lennon kept his place and Gareth Barry and Romelu Lukaku returned to the side after sitting out against Carlisle in the FA Cup on Sunday.
The Magpies set their stall out early, harrying Everton from the off but it was the home side who started the brighter of the two sides going forward, with Cleverley forcing the first save of the game from Elliot with a side-foot shot from Lukaku's layoff.
A knee to the back from Fabricio Collicini forced the Belgian striker off for treatment shortly afterwards but he was able to continue and he went close with a free kick after he himself was fouled by Chancel Mbemba after 20 minutes.
Everton took the lead a minute later though when Lennon rewarded his manager's faith in him with a goal, his scuffed shot rolling past the wrong-footed Elliot.
Much of the half was about Everton probing at the Magpies' defences and there were long spells without much in the way of chances but Barkley had a half chance when Elliot's headed clearance dropped to him 40 yards out but after taking the ball down, he dropped an attempted lob of the scrambling 'keeper well over the crossbar.
And the 21-year-old tried a bouncing free kick effort from distance that missed to the left of the visitors' goal six minutes before half time.
The first half was winding down when Lennon almost scored after Barkley's appetising low cross had been passed up by Lukaku and Coleman cut the ball back from the other flank towards the penalty spot. Mbemba made a crucial block on Lennon's goalbound shot, however, and the ball was cleared.
Everton suffered a blow at the interval, though, when Lukaku didn't come back out for the second period and he was replaced by Arouna Kone.
And the Ivorian should have doubled the lead just 6 minutes after coming on when Elliot denied Lennon with his foot and Kone took one touch and sliced a poor shot high and wide of goal.
Lacking support a minute later, Kone fired a low shot-cum-cross across the Newcastle box and out to the other side before laying on a great chance for Barkley but the midfielder tried to be too clever with a flick and the chance went begging.
Barkley did much better moments later, though, when he lined up a terrific shot from 20 yards that Elliot saved brilliantly with a tip onto the bar. Funes Mori headed narrowly wide from the resulting corner as Everton continued to threaten.
And the ball would come off the woodwork again when Jonjo Shelvey's back header looped over the 'keeper from a free kick.
Elliot was busy again with 61 minutes gone when had to make another good one-handed save to turn Cleverley's shot onto his post.
Having survived that onslaught, Newcastle really should have equalised with 25 minutes to go. A cross from the left caught Funes Mori napping and Aleksander Mitrovic beat the offside trap but steered the ball inches wide.
Robles then had to fist away Daryl Janmaat's whipped cross as the Blues started to look more and more nervy at the back under mounting Newcastle pressure.
The game was belatedly made safe three minutes from time, though, when Lennon, impressive throughout, was hauled down in the box by Aarons and Barkley stepped up to slam home Everton's first penalty kick of the season.
2-0 was almost three as Barkley rampaged forward but saw his deflected shot bounce just wide and then played Kone in for what looked to be a certain goal but the striker made a mess of the finish, putting it harmlessly into the Park End.
Another foul in the box, this time by Lascelles on Barkley earned the former a red card and the latter a chance to double his tally for the evening which he did in impressive fashion with a dinked chip down the middle.
With successive cup games on the road that yielded results as contrasting as the strength of the opponents, Everton are back at Goodison Park this evening looking to pick up the pieces of their Premier League campaign.
Just three wins at home in the League tell their own story of the Blues’ problems this term but a return to the top half beckons — depending on what happens between Watford and Chelsea in the other Wednesday evening game — along with the chance to remain eight points off fifth place, a goal that is not beyond Roberto Martinez’s men if they can go on a run of victories in the coming weeks.
Putting two consecutive League wins together would be a start, something Everton have yet to do this season. Tom Cleverley’s last-gasp, stoppage time goal at St James’ Park on Boxing Day felt like it could be the change in fortune and the catalyst that the team needed to change the course of their season but they were brought back down to earth by the events against Stoke City in the final game of 2015.
That day they lost in injury time to a controversial Marco Arnautovic penalty, the last of four goals the Blues’ conceded that day and it led to some introspection and a renewed focus on defence at Finch Farm that was evident in the home draw with Spurs and the first two encounters with Manchester City last month.
Unfortunately, if those results were meant to be representative of a corner turned, the subsequent cession of two-goal leads at Chelsea in the League and City in the League Cup, with a demoralising home defeat to Swansea City sandwiched in between, have revived the inquest into Martinez’s methods.
A routine FA Cup win at Carlisle on Sunday will hopefully have provided some tonic but the reality is that nothing short of three points from Newcastle and an encouraging performance at Stoke this coming weekend will be enough to lessen the focus on his defence and of his setup as a whole.
With those recent performances in mind, the manager has some selection dilemmas with which to contend for this one. If he has at all been conflicted about the goalkeeping situation he has hasn’t shown it but that decision might have been made for Martinez by an apparent knee injury picked up by Tim Howard in training this week.
The American was the presumptive first-choice goalkeeper for the resumption of the League campaign but Joel Robles may get the chance to make a third consecutive start for the first time in a year, and with it the chance to further his claims for the role on a full-time basis.
At centre half, the Catalan has a difficult decision to make over which pairing to opt for in the wake of John Stones’ faltering recent form. The 21-year-old has been under mounting scrutiny in recent matches, not helped by being played out of position at the Etihad Stadium last week, and there is a feeling that he could do more time on the bench to reset his head a little.
The form of Ramiro Funes Mori and the influence of Phil Jagielka make that an easier option to take for Martinez than it otherwise might have been but he has shown the utmost loyalty to certain players in the past so nothing is a foregone conclusion.
On the right flank, Aaron Lennon’s impressive display in the cup at Brunton Park made a very good case for retaining him in the line-up but that would be the expense of Gerard Deulofeu who was, alongside Ross Barkley, the most likely player to have got Everton the extra goal they needed to retain the initiative in that ill-fated Capital One Cup semi-final tie against City.
The Spaniard will have benefited from the extra days off afforded him by sitting out the Carlisle game but it remains to be seen if Martinez will keep him on the bench with a second-half introduction in mind.
With Muhamed Besic and Kevin Mirallas still out injured, James McCarthy fit, and Gareth Barry certain to return, Cleverley will likely be handed the left-midfield role next to Barkley. It’s unlikely the manager would have pitched new signing Oumar Niasse straight into the starting XI but the Senegal striker won’t be eligible to feature until he receives his visa.
Newcastle boss, Steve McLaren, is in a similar boat with his new signing Seydou Doumbia, also from the Russian Premier League, although his international clearance could come through in time for him to play. The loanee is one of three significant signings made by the Magpies during the January transfer window — one of them, Andros Townsend, could make his debut following his Ł12m switch from Spurs while the other, Jonjo Shelvey, is a player that could prove to be a big threat unless Everton have tightened up at the back.
The former Liverpool and Swansea midfielder’s range and accuracy of passing is a big reason why Mike Ashley forked out big money to bring the 23-year-old to the northeast and he will need to be shackled.
Referee: Craig Pawson
Predicted line-up: Robles, Coleman, Jagielka, Funes Mori, Baines, Barry, McCarthy, Cleverley, Barkley, Lennon, Lukaku