Demba Ba struck twice as Newcastle ended a run of four straight defeats with victory over 10-man Wigan.
Latics defender Maynor Figueroa was sent off in the 12th minute after he brought down Papiss Cisse in the box.
Ba smashed home the penalty and added a second eight minutes later when he pounced on an Ali Al-Habsi spill.
Wigan tried to fight their way back into the game but Gael Bigirimana wrapped up the win with a spectacular third in the 71st minute.
Roberto Martinez's side have now lost four of their last five games and are just two points above the relegation zone.
The visitors had started the game brightly and tried to put a nervy Newcastle under pressure with a couple of early snapshots, although they failed to trouble home keeper Tim Krul.
Did you know?
- Newcastle have never lost at home to Wigan in eight league and cup games.
- Demba Ba is now joint top scorer in the Premier League with 10 goals.
- Ba's second goal was the 21,000th scored in the Premier League.
But home anxieties were eased in the 12th minute when Cisse was forced off the ball by Figueroa as he darted onto a clever pass from strike partner Ba, and referee Mike Jones immediately pointed to the spot before producing a red card.
Ba tucked the penalty beyond Al-Habsi and, before 10-man Wigan had properly reorganised, he then added a second.
Full-back Davide Santon cut inside and hit a fierce 25-yard strike, which Al-Habsi could only parry straight to the feet of Ba, who tapped the ball into the empty net.
Roberto Martinez reacted by replacing attacking midfielder Jordi Gomez with James McArthur in an attempt to stem the home attacks.
And the change worked as his side's slick passing had Newcastle on the back foot for long periods, despite their one-man advantage.
But the Latics still failed to seriously threaten the Newcastle goal, Al-Habsi remaining the busier keeper.
He reacted well to keep out Marveaux's 52nd-minute strike and a low effort from Bigirimana but he had no chance when the latter hit a brilliant third - his first ever goal in professional football.
The former Coventry midfielder cut inside to curl a dipping left-foot shot past inside the far post.
Ba missed the chance to complete his hat-trick, slicing his shot from close range, before limping out of the game late - the only negative on a night of huge relief for Newcastle manager Alan Pardew.
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew: "It's been difficult for the players and staff and it was nice to get a break tonight, and it was a break - we got one tonight.
"I think it was a penalty. When the defender is coming across the striker and he's got a goal chance the referee has got a tough decision. I think it was a penalty and that gave us a great start to the game."
"Demba loves it here. It's a football city, we've tried to take the clause [£7.5m get-out in his contract] out but we haven't been successful with that and that is difficult for us and Demba."
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee blows for the end of the match.90:00 +3:30
Arouna Kone produces a right-footed shot from close range which goes wide of the left-hand post.90:00 +2:36
Long range effort by Sammy Ameobi goes wide right of the target.90:00 +1:45
Foul by James McArthur on Sammy Ameobi, free kick awarded. Vurnon Anita takes the free kick.90:00 +1:32
Centre by Ronnie Stam, save by Tim Krul.90:00 +0:38
Centre by Ronnie Stam, save by Tim Krul.89:28
Shane Ferguson produces a cross, Shot by Papiss Cisse from 12 yards. Save by Ali Al Habsi.88:00
Inswinging corner taken left-footed by Sylvain Marveaux from the right by-line, clearance made by James McArthur.84:06
The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Adrian Lopez.83:24
Danny Simpson challenges Callum McManaman unfairly and gives away a free kick. Jean Beausejour takes the free kick.80:47
James McCarthy fouled by Sylvain Marveaux, the ref awards a free kick. David Jones takes the free kick.79:48
Shane Ferguson delivers the ball, Ali Al Habsi makes a save.77:07
Vurnon Anita fouled by James McCarthy, the ref awards a free kick. Vurnon Anita takes the indirect free kick.76:00
Indirect free kick taken by James McArthur.76:00 Booking
Booking Sammy Ameobi receives a caution.75:53
Free kick awarded for a foul by Sammy Ameobi on Ronnie Stam.75:26
Sammy Ameobi fouled by Ronnie Stam, the ref awards a free kick. Vurnon Anita takes the free kick.74:58 Substitution
Substitution Sammy Ameobi replaces Jonas Gutierrez.73:37
The ball is sent over by Ronnie Stam, Tim Krul makes a save.72:28
Shot from 18 yards from Arouna Kone. Blocked by Mike Williamson.
The assist for the goal came from Sylvain Marveaux.70:04 Goal scored
Goal! - Gael Bigirimana - Newcastle 3 - 0 Wigan A goal is scored by Gael Bigirimana from just outside the penalty area to the top left corner of the goal. Newcastle 3-0 Wigan.68:48
Effort on goal by Papiss Cisse from just inside the area clears the bar.68:07
The ball is swung over by Arouna Kone, Mike Williamson makes a clearance.67:40
The ball is swung over by Jonas Gutierrez.67:19
Shot by David Jones. Vurnon Anita gets a block in.67:05 Substitution
Substitution Callum McManaman is brought on as a substitute for Franco Di Santo.67:05 Booking
Booking Caution for Franco Di Santo.66:55
A cross is delivered by Jean Beausejour.66:45
A cross is delivered by Jean Beausejour, clearance made by Mike Williamson.64:26
Inswinging corner taken by Sylvain Marveaux from the right by-line, Adrian Lopez makes a clearance.63:12
Emmerson Boyce concedes a free kick for a foul on Demba Ba. Fabricio Coloccini takes the free kick.62:40
The ball is sent over by James McCarthy, Danny Simpson makes a clearance.62:18
The ball is crossed by Ronnie Stam, clearance by Fabricio Coloccini.59:10
Ronnie Stam gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jonas Gutierrez. Indirect free kick taken by Shane Ferguson.57:54
Effort on goal by Papiss Cisse from just inside the area clears the bar.57:23
A cross is delivered by Shane Ferguson.55:04
Gael Bigirimana takes a shot. Save by Ali Al Habsi.54:45
The ball is swung over by Ronnie Stam, Danny Simpson makes a clearance.52:45
Short corner taken by Ronnie Stam.52:13
Jonas Gutierrez concedes a free kick for a foul on Ronnie Stam. Free kick taken by Emmerson Boyce.51:38
Shot from 12 yards by Sylvain Marveaux. Ali Al Habsi makes a save.50:06
Shane Ferguson delivers the ball, save made by Ali Al Habsi.47:36 Substitution
Substitution Shane Ferguson on for Davide Santon.47:36
Franco Di Santo produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target.47:16
The ball is swung over by Ronnie Stam, clearance made by Fabricio Coloccini.45:01
The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Adrian Lopez on for Gary Caldwell.45:01 Substitution
Substitution Gael Bigirimana replaces Cheick Tiote.45:00 +2:10 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.45:00 +1:55
Mike Williamson gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Arouna Kone. James McArthur takes the free kick.45:00 +1:19
Shot by Cheick Tiote from outside the box goes high over the crossbar.45:00 +0:11
Unfair challenge on Jonas Gutierrez by Ronnie Stam results in a free kick. Demba Ba restarts play with the free kick.44:32
Danny Simpson sends in a cross, Gary Caldwell manages to make a clearance.43:53
Unfair challenge on Demba Ba by James McCarthy results in a free kick. Sylvain Marveaux restarts play with the free kick.43:05
Outswinging corner taken left-footed by Jean Beausejour from the left by-line, clearance made by Vurnon Anita.41:51
Shot from long distance by Franco Di Santo misses to the right of the target.41:00
Ronnie Stam produces a cross, save by Tim Krul.36:41
Cheick Tiote takes a long range shot clearing the bar.36:23
Shot by Cheick Tiote from 30 yards. Blocked by Jean Beausejour.35:06
Foul by Gary Caldwell on Demba Ba, free kick awarded. Sylvain Marveaux crosses the ball in from the free kick.33:37
Shot from 18 yards from Sylvain Marveaux. Save made by Ali Al Habsi. Corner taken by Sylvain Marveaux from the right by-line, clearance made by Arouna Kone.32:53
Ronnie Stam crosses the ball, Fabricio Coloccini makes a clearance.31:31
The ball is swung over by Danny Simpson, comfortable save by Ali Al Habsi.30:47
Jonas Gutierrez sends in a cross.29:10
Sylvain Marveaux restarts play with the free kick.29:10 Booking
Booking Booking for Gary Caldwell for unsporting behaviour.29:02
Free kick awarded for a foul by Gary Caldwell on Demba Ba.28:15
The ball is sent over by Ronnie Stam.27:37
Free kick awarded for a foul by Fabricio Coloccini on Franco Di Santo. Franco Di Santo takes the free kick.27:08
Vurnon Anita has an effort at goal from outside the box missing to the wide left of the goal.26:45
Unfair challenge on Davide Santon by Ronnie Stam results in a free kick. Jonas Gutierrez takes the indirect free kick.26:00
Arouna Kone concedes a free kick for a foul on Cheick Tiote. Cheick Tiote takes the free kick.24:46
The ball is swung over by Danny Simpson, clearance made by Ronnie Stam.22:22
Foul by Davide Santon on Arouna Kone, free kick awarded. James McCarthy takes the indirect free kick.20:49 Substitution
Substitution James McArthur replaces Jordi Gomez.20:49
Assist on the goal came from Davide Santon.20:49 Goal scored
Goal! - Demba Ba - Newcastle 2 - 0 Wigan Demba Ba finds the back of the net with a goal from close in to the bottom right corner of the goal. Newcastle 2-0 Wigan.20:22
Davide Santon takes a shot. Ali Al Habsi makes a save.19:33
The ball is sent over by Papiss Cisse, Emmerson Boyce fouled by Jonas Gutierrez, the ref awards a free kick. Indirect free kick taken by Ali Al Habsi.18:46
Jordi Gomez produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the goal.18:01
Sylvain Marveaux crosses the ball, save by Ali Al Habsi.16:36
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Demba Ba by David Jones. Free kick taken by Cheick Tiote.15:27
Shot by Demba Ba from outside the area goes high over the crossbar.13:57
Jordi Gomez is caught offside. Fabricio Coloccini takes the free kick.13:04
Assist on the goal came from Papiss Cisse.13:04 Booking
Booking Jean Beausejour receives a yellow card for dissent.12:44 Goal scored
Goal! - Demba Ba - Newcastle 1 - 0 Wigan Demba Ba scores a placed penalty. Newcastle 1-0 Wigan.11:39 Dismissal
Dismissal Red card for Maynor Figueroa.11:25
Foul by Maynor Figueroa on Papiss Cisse, Penalty awarded.10:39
Centre by Sylvain Marveaux, save by Ali Al Habsi.9:34
Free kick awarded for a foul by Jean Beausejour on Papiss Cisse. Free kick crossed right-footed by Vurnon Anita, Jean Beausejour makes a clearance.8:09
Free kick awarded for a foul by Papiss Cisse on Jean Beausejour. Maynor Figueroa takes the free kick.7:00
Corner taken right-footed by Vurnon Anita to the near post, Maynor Figueroa makes a clearance.6:20
The referee penalises James McCarthy for handball. Free kick taken by Sylvain Marveaux.5:20
James McCarthy takes a shot. Ronnie Stam produces a right-footed shot from just outside the penalty area that goes harmlessly over the target. Fabricio Coloccini gets a block in.4:00
Free kick awarded for a foul by Papiss Cisse on James McCarthy. Free kick crossed left-footed by David Jones, clearance by Vurnon Anita. Corner taken by Jean Beausejour.3:28
Shot by Franco Di Santo. Tim Krul makes a save. David Jones takes a inswinging corner from the right by-line to the near post, Danny Simpson makes a clearance.2:40
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jordi Gomez by Cheick Tiote. David Jones takes the indirect free kick.0:57
Cheick Tiote concedes a free kick for a foul on Ronnie Stam. Maynor Figueroa restarts play with the free kick.0:18
Cheick Tiote has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide left of the goal.0:00
The ref blows the whistle to begin the match.
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