Alvaro Negredo and Edin Dzeko had Manchester City fans dreaming of a return to Wembley after firing two extra-time goals in this Capital One Cup tie at St James' Park.
Negredo struck clinically nine minutes into extra time to fire a low, Dzeko cross past Tim Krul in the Newcastle goal. It was a cruel blow for Alan Pardew's side, who were attempting to bury the bitter disappointment of derby defeat to Sunderland on Sunday. Newcastle had been the better team in normal time but could not take their chances.
In extra time, City moved up a gear and by half-time, had their two-goal lead, with Dzeko rounding Krul and firing into the home goal to double the advantage.
For 90 minutes, they were second best to a Newcastle side looking to banish the memory of a derby loss on Sunday. Their less altered team were unfortunate not to have advanced to the next round by the time Neil Swarbrick ended normal time.
Shola Ameobi had a first-half goal ruled out for off-side and Vurnon Anita, Ameobi and Yoan Gouffran could all have scored the goals that would have meant extra time unnecessary.
It did at least restore pride for Alan Pardew and his men, coming immediately after the Stadium of Light defeat. For Pellegrini, more questions were raised, principally how the side he had chosen were so short of the urgency required to capitalise on Newcastle's fragile frame of mind.
That defeat to Chelsea on Sunday at Stamford Bridge had not, however, altered the priorities of Pellegrini. There were still 10 new names on the team sheet with only Javi Garcia keeping his place. Most notable was the exclusion of Joe Hart, but that had been planned before the England goalkeeper's latest mistake.
Whether Costel Pantilimon, the Romanian who started against Newcastle, retains his place against Norwich on Saturday, will be of more interest, especially to the England manager, Roy Hodgson. Hart was asked to take a place on the bench for City, but that was because of injury to the third choice Richard Wright.
The 10 changes impacted hugely on Pellegrini's team. For the opening 45 minutes, the fluency was surprising, with a Newcastle side who were expected to be smarting from Sunday's derby defeat to rivals Sunderland. Alan Pardew had opted for a more conservative five changes from the side who lost a successive league derby against Sunderland for the first time in 47 years. In contrast to Manchester City, it galvanised them in the opening half. That the home side did not lead at the half's end was the only real surprise, and even then they had put the ball in Pantilimon's goal, in the 33rd minute through the recalled Ameobi, following a knockdown from his strike partner Papiss Cissé. It was ruled off-side and the concern for Pardew was that his team's dominance had produced nothing tangible.
Cissé himself had gone close as early as the ninth minute, lobbing narrowly wide of Pantilimon's near post. Alvaro Negredo, an early substitute for Stevan Jovetic, blocked a Massadio Haidara shot, and in the 21st minute, Gouffran headed a right-wing Mathieu Debuchy cross wide of the far post. On the half-hour mark, Moussa Sissoko saw a shot blocked by Joleon Lescott and from the rebound Ameobi's goal bound shot was tipped around the post for a corner by Pantilimon.
It felt like a goal would come, with an insipid City creating precious little in reply. One did arrive soon after, but Ameobi had strayed into an offside position as he received Cissé's pass.
The disallowed goal did not stop the home side's momentum.
Immediately Sissoko again went down the Newcastle right and crossed into the heart of the Manchester City penalty area. Gouffran's header was cleared only as far as Anita, but the former Ajax midfielder, with the chance to put his side ahead, volleyed wide.
Only at the end of a one-sided first helf did City respond, when Micah Richards burst through on the right. His shot, which went wide, seemed indicative of the performance Pellegrini had drawn from his side, one that cost in the region of £150m to assemble.
There was more urgency for the visitors after the interval.
However Pantilimon was again called into action, in the 51st minute, when he had to get down well to stop a low drive from Anita.
Krul, who was by far the more quiet of the two goalkeepers, was alert to block a Negredo cross soon after and in the 54th minute, City twice went close to sneaking into a lead.
A Jesus Navas right-wing corner found Dedryck Boyata and the centre-half headed wide. The opportunity had not gone for City and when the ball was crossed back into the middle of the Newcastle penalty area, Richards rose well but he headed over.
Jack Rodwell and then James Milner both had opportunities for City but it said everything that by the time the 70th minute was passed, they had still not managed a shot on target.
Instead there were further long-range efforts from the home side. Sissoko saw a 20-yard shot charged down on its way to reaching Pantilimon and Yohan Cabaye, who came on as a 67th-minute substitute for the home side, shot wide with an ambitious 25 yard strike.
City did go closer in the 75th minute when Navas crossed for once with accuracy to the corner of the six-yard box and Edin Dzeko headed narrowly wide of Krul's near post.
Man of the match Negredo.
Match rating 4/10.
Referee N Swarbrick (Lancashire).