Luke Moore, Swansea's forgotten man, stepped out of the shadows with a late winner to nudge Michael Laudrup's cup heroes to the all-important 40-point mark in the Premier League. Moore (below) was an unused substitute in the Capital One Cup final success over Bradford at Wembley, but what a difference a week makes as the former Aston Villa and West Bromwich striker responded with his first League goal in almost a year to sink Newcastle, who deserved more from this keenly-fought contest.
"It was an important goal for us, but maybe even more for Luke," Laudrup said. "To come in and score the only goal – and the winner – in a very important game, caps off a great week.
"I'm happy to reach the 40-point mark. There was a lot to be pleased about; the win, the excellent first-half performance and our reaction from winning at Wembley. Newcastle are a good team and had chances in the second half, but the late goal decided the game. Fortunately it was for us."
Swansea, fresh from their first major trophy triumph last weekend, started like an express train. Michu headed over from Wayne Routledge's sixth-minute cross, all after wideman Pablo Hernandez had skinned Mathieu Debuchy down the left in the build-up.
Laudrup's men should have been ahead moments later. Jonathan de Guzman's deep free-kick to the back post found Michu, who flicked back across goal, but Ashley Williams failed to connect cleanly as Steven Taylor cleared off the line.
Newcastle tried to knock Swansea out of their stride with Nathan Dyer a main target for rough treatment as Cheick Tioté and Yohan Cabaye received bookings. But when Garry Monk was afforded space in the penalty box, Swansea's club captain had his timing all wrong as the ball came off his shoulder rather than his head and flew over the crossbar from eight yards.
After the interval, Angel Rangel latched on to a pin-point Hernandez pass, but his shot was well saved by Rob Elliot, making just his second Premier League appearance. De Guzman saw his follow-up deflected and then headed away by the excellent Taylor.
Yet that triggered a Newcastle fightback, who wasted two glorious chances in as many minutes.At the same end as his wonderful strike here last April, Papiss Cissé fired over in the 56th minute with a left-footed effort after Moussa Sissoko flicked on Cabaye's pass. Then Yoan Gouffran lashed over from Sissoko's cutback when he should have done better.
Alan Pardew's side were building momentum and almost found the opener when Cabaye crashed the woodwork with a thumping 25-yard drive.
Michel Vorm, Swansea's goalkeeper produced a diving save to deny Sissoko before the hosts responded when Ki Sung-Yueng saw a shot saved by Elliot.But, for all Newcastle's much-improved second-half performance, their display was undone by a series of errors with four minutes remaining.
Routledge's left-wing cross was poorly cleared by Davide Santon, who hit the legs of Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa and the ball broke to Moore, whose shot deflected off Cabaye past Elliot to leave Pardew frustrated."I'm disappointed that we didn't even get a draw because we more than deserved that. It's absolutely galling," he said.Reuse content