Match ends, Newcastle United 2, Stoke City 1.
Captain Jamaal Lascelles scored his second goal in as many games as Newcastle beat Stoke City to record their third successive Premier League win and climb inside the top four.
Christian Atsu put the hosts in front from a wonderful Matt Ritchie ball in the first half, before Xherdan Shaqiri curled in an equaliser from long range.
But Lascelles, who headed wide from a similar opportunity before the break, met another Ritchie delivery to win it.
Magpies forward Joselu had several chances to put the game beyond his former side, but found Potters goalkeeper Jack Butland in good form.
It was Stoke's first loss in the league since an opening-day defeat by Everton.
Ritchie inspires Newcastle win
It is the first time since 2000-01 that Newcastle have won three of their opening five Premier League games. They went on to finish 11th that season, but this Rafa Benitez side are flirting with the top four.
Their stay there may well be brief, but after what appeared to be a summer of frustration and missed transfer targets for the Spanish boss, he will be delighted by the performance of the squad at his disposal.
The wonderful left foot of Ritchie laid on both goals for the hosts, with Atsu drifting in at the back post to poke home a well-weighted cross for the opener.
Captain Lascelles said after the game Newcastle could have had "three, four or five" goals, but it was his header that proved to be the winner from another teasing Ritchie delivery.
The 28-year-old former Bournemouth man made three key passes as he and Ghana winger Atsu drifted between the lines to cause Stoke problems, especially in the first half.
Joselu, facing his former club for the first time since joining Newcastle in August, was one of those guilty of not putting more gloss on the scoreline, with only one of his five shots finding the target.
Shaqiri - the fox outside the box
Stoke winger Shaqiri does not score simple goals.
It was a fantastic finish to pull his side level from the Switzerland international, whose past six Premier League goals have all come from outside the box.
Shaqiri's brilliance was a rare clinical moment for the visitors, who saw Mame Biram Diouf head wide when unmarked in stoppage time having earlier sliced off target from inside the area.
Stoke have taken points off Arsenal and Manchester United in recent weeks, but Mark Hughes called for his side to be more "vigilant" after they were too easily prised open by Newcastle at St James' Park.
Hughes opted for a back three, in which Kurt Zouma shone, as the Chelsea loanee won 100% of his aerial duels and proved a starting point for Stoke to attack.
But it was fellow defenders Bruno Martins Indi and Kevin Wimmer who struggled with Joselu's relentless running before the ex-Potters striker was replaced late on.
Man of the match - Matt Ritchie (Newcastle)
'The fans are thinking about Europe'
Newcastle manager Rafa Benitez, who was back in the dugout after missing the win at Swansea last week following surgery: "Normally I am a little bit more agitated, but today I have to be careful, it will take some time to heal, but at least winning is always easier.
"This group of players works very hard. Sometimes we have some problems, but with the chances we can create we know they can give us the points.
"The fans, when you win so many games in a row, they are excited and thinking about Europe - for me it is one game at a time.
"It is a very competitive league and we are learning from that."
Stoke boss Mark Hughes: "We have played better than that in recent weeks and it's disappointing from our point of view. We were loose in our general play and the accuracy of our passing.
"We had to be vigilant, but towards the end of the game we made a mistake on the set-play after working really hard to get back on level terms.
"We went for it at the end, but it wasn't to be.
"Second half we controlled the game for the vast majority, they were just looking to break on us. We didn't quite do our jobs at a corner and Jack [Butland] wasn't able to save it. We'll move on to the next one.
"We are a good side and we can knock it around, but at key moments we have to be clinical."
The stats - Stoke's struggles on the road continue
- Newcastle have won three consecutive top-flight games for the first time since November 2014.
- Stoke have enjoyed just one win in their past 11 away league games, drawing three and losing seven.
- Christian Atsu scored his first-ever Premier League goal in his 10th appearance in the competition (despite making his English top-flight debut in August 2014).
- Matt Ritchie has provided 11 assists in the league since the start of last season, more than any other Newcastle player.
- Ritchie has registered four assists in his past three Premier League games.
- Only two of Xherdan Shaqiri's eight goals in the competition have come from inside the area.
- The Swiss winger has been directly involved in two goals in his past two top-flight games (one goal, one assist), after none in his previous eight.
- All four of Jamaal Lascelles' Premier League goals have been headers from corners.
Stoke travel to Bristol City in the EFL Cup on Tuesday, before hosting Chelsea in the Premier League next Saturday (15:00 BST). Newcastle are not in action until next Sunday, when they visit Brighton (16:00).
- 2ClarkBooked at 73mins
- 14HaydenBooked at 25minsSubstituted forShelveyat 69'minutes
- 23MerinoBooked at 77mins
- 17PérezSubstituted forDiaméat 86'minutes
- 21JoseluSubstituted forGayleat 78'minutes
- 15Martins Indi
- 5WimmerBooked at 30mins
- 4AllenSubstituted forCrouchat 84'minutes
- 11Rodríguez RuizSubstituted forSobhiat 62'minutes
- Stuart Attwell
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Newcastle United 2, Stoke City 1.
Offside, Newcastle United. Jonjo Shelvey tries a through ball, but Dwight Gayle is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Mame Biram Diouf (Stoke City) header from the centre of the box is close, but misses to the right. Assisted by Bruno Martins Indi with a cross.
Foul by Erik Pieters (Stoke City).
Mohamed Diamé (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Dwight Gayle.
Attempt missed. Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (Stoke City) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the right. Assisted by Peter Crouch with a headed pass.
Darren Fletcher (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Mikel Merino (Newcastle United).
Substitution, Newcastle United. Mohamed Diamé replaces Ayoze Pérez.
Foul by Peter Crouch (Stoke City).
Mikel Merino (Newcastle United) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Erik Pieters (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Dwight Gayle (Newcastle United).
Substitution, Stoke City. Peter Crouch replaces Joe Allen.
Attempt missed. Xherdan Shaqiri (Stoke City) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left from a direct free kick.
Hand ball by Chancel Mbemba (Newcastle United).
Attempt missed. Jonjo Shelvey (Newcastle United) left footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Christian Atsu following a set piece situation.
Foul by Kurt Zouma (Stoke City).