Newcastle's biggest win of the season put them eight points clear at the top of Coca-Cola Championship.
Chris Hughton's side were rampant 6-1 winners over Barnsley, who had goalkeeper Luke Steele sent off just before half-time.
Peter Lovenkrands struck from the penalty spot following Steele's dismissal and then added a second with a fine header three minutes after the break. Danny Guthrie added a third in the 50th minute and further goals from Jonas Gutierrez, Guthrie and Kevin Nolan floored Barnsley, who managed a consolation from substitute Daniel Bogdanovic.
Nottingham Forest moved into second place after an injury-time header from recalled defender Luke Chambers gave them a 1-0 win over Swansea at the City Ground.
QPR's new manager Neil Warnock got off to an impressive winning start at Loftus Road as Rangers beat promotion-chasing West Brom 3-1. Goals from Jay Simpson, Matt Connolly and Akos Buzsaky secured only a second win in 12 matches for rangers. Chris Brunt pulled one back for Albion.
Jay Bothroyd scored his eighth league goal of the season for Cardiff to give them a 1-0 win over play-off rivals Middlesbrough while Jason Euell scored his first goal since October as Blackpool beat Ipswich 1-0 at Bloomfield Road to boost their play-off bid.
Leon Clarke gave Sheffield Wednesday's survival chances a huge lift with a goal in each half in a 2-0 win over play-off hopefuls Leicester and Coventry closed in on the top-six with a 1-0 win over bottom club Peterborough courtesy of a Jon Stead goal.
Crystal Palace boosted their survival hopes as Alan Lee's goal gave them a deserved 1-0 victory over Sheffield United while Michael Tonge's first goal since August 2007 paved the way for Derby to secure a 2-0 win over Watford at Pride Park.
Arsenal loanee Jay Emmanuel-Thomas starred for Doncaster as they eased to a fine 5-2 victory over Bristol City at Ashton Gate. Emmanuel-Thomas was on the scoresheet twice, as was Billy Sharp, for the visitors while Bradley Orr scored the City goals before rounding off the scoring with an own goal.
Plymouth fell further adrift in their battle for survival despite coming from behind to grab a 1-1 draw against Preston. Sean St Ledger gave Preston the lead in a first half dominated by the visitors but Paul Mariner's men were rewarded when Damien Johnson equalised from the penalty spot after the interval.
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