Peter Crouch heaped further misery on Alan Pardew as his header gave Stoke City a 1-0 Barclays Premier League win over Newcastle United on Monday.
Newcastle enjoyed plenty of possession in wet Staffordshire conditions but their failure to create clear-cut chances was punished by Crouch.
The 33-year-old striker struck his second goal in as many league matches, converting a Victor Moses delivery to seal victory and pile further pressure on Pardew, whose side came agonisingly close to a late equaliser when Jack Colback crashed a shot against the crossbar.
Marc Muniesa was retained after scoring twice against Sunderland in the League Cup in Stoke's only alteration from last week's draw with Queens Park Rangers, but a Newcastle side unchanged from their last-gasp draw with Hull City had the first real chance in the 14th minute as Emmanuel Riviere lashed over following good work from Remy Cabella.
However, Crouch put Stoke ahead a minute later, rising above Newcastle captain Fabricio Coloccini to head in Moses' left-wing cross.
The Potters lost striker Mame Biram Diouf to a hamstring injury sustained while setting up the opening but continued to have success hitting Newcastle on the counter-attack, Mike Williamson impressively heading Muniesa's dangerous cross away with Steven N'Zonzi ready to pounce from point-blank range.
Despite creating the better opportunities Stoke were grateful to goalkeeper Asmir Begovic for keeping them ahead two minutes before the break as he turned Daryl Janmaat's low drive round his right-hand post.
Papiss Cisse, Newcastle's saviour against Hull, was brought on by Pardew at half-time but it was Stoke that went closest to scoring after the break, substitute Arnautovic clattering a half-volley against the woodwork.
Mark Hughes' side continued to dictate play in the second period, Moses denied only by the reflexes of Krul after the on-loan Chelsea forward had capitalised on confusion in the Newcastle defence.
Newcastle’s last chance at salvation went begging when Colback hit the bar from four yards after bringing down Gabriel Obertan's cross.
Stoke manager Mark Hughes: "It was important to get the win obviously. The importance of the first goal is always paramount in the Premier League and it was a great cross from Victor [Moses] That's the service we want for Crouchy.
"Pace is something we lacked last year. We've got that in different forms now - Victor has come in and set the place alight.
"It sets up our season, we can build on that."
Newcastle manager Alan Pardew: "It leaves us in the bottom three and we've got to fight. I have to fight and the team has to fight.
"I think we'll [Pardew and Mike Ashley] have some serious conversations before Saturday because he doesn't want to lose and nor do I. I think it's important I show the team I'm here to lead them and that's what I'll do.
"I've never really been in this situtation before, it's a bit unique, but I'm a professional football manager, that's what I do and that's what I'll continue to do."
|02 Dec 2014||v Man Utd (A)|
|25 Oct 2014||v Southampton (A)|
|22 Nov 2014||v Burnley (H)|
|09 Nov 2014||v Spurs (A)|
|29 Nov 2014||v Liverpool (A)|
|13 Dec 2014||v Crystal Palace (A)|