Liverpool proved there is life after Luiz Suarez by romping to a crushing 6-0 win at St James' Park to deepen Newcastle's relegation fears.
Suarez is beginning a 10-match Football Association ban for biting Chelsea's Branislav Ivanovic, but he was not missed as Newcastle slumped to their heaviest home defeat since 1925.
Wigan Athletic remain in the Premier League relegation zone after Emmerson Boyce's last-minute own goal gifted Tottenham Hotspur a 2-2 draw .
Having earlier cancelled out Gareth Bale's opener for Spurs with an 11th-minute header, Boyce inadvertently diverted Tom Huddlestone's free-kick into his own net in the dying stages at the DW Stadium.
The FA Cup finalists now trail fourth-bottom Aston Villa by two points with four matches to play.
Unlike Wigan, and Newcastle, Stoke City can start thinking about another season among the English elite after a 1-0 win at home to Norwich City sent Tony Pulis's side soaring up to 12th place in the table, eight points clear of the bottom three.
Earlier, Sergio Aguero and Yaya Toure scored a pair of fine goals as Manchester City began life as former champions by winning 2-1 at home to West Ham United.
City relinquished their league crown to Manchester United earlier in the week but their success over mid-table West Ham gave them an eight-point cushion in second place and took them closer to Champions League qualification.
Everton improved their chances of European football next season with a 1-0 win at home to Fulham that left them three points behind fifth-place Spurs, albeit having played a game more.