Sunderland earned their third successive derby win over a poor Newcastle to move further clear of the Premier League relegation zone.
Fabio Borini gave the Black Cats the lead from the spot after Vurnon Anita’s clumsy challenge on Phil Bardsley.
Adam Johnson doubled the advantage after a deflection took Jack Colback’s shot away from goalkeeper Tim Krul.
In the week they lost Yohan Cabaye to Paris St-Germain, the Magpies, who were booed at half-time and the final whistle, extended their recent run of disappointing results to only one win in seven games.
They have failed to score in five of their last six league games and were again short of ideas.
Too often they were slow to get bodies forward, particularly in a first half that saw Ameobi brothers Shola and Sammy start together for the first time.
The hosts at least came to life after Sammy was withdrawn in favour of debutant Luuk de Jong at half-time.
Cheick Tiote’s long-range drive drew a flying save from visiting keeper Vito Mannone and, from the resulting corner, Shola Ameobi should have done better than heading wide from six yards out.
The older Ameobi, recalled for a fixture in which he has scored seven goals, was denied when through one-on-one with Mannone, and later saw a header cleared off the line by Borini.
But by then the damage had been done by a Sunderland side visibly confident after a run that has now seen them go eight games without defeat.
Not only were they quick to get men behind the ball – deadline day signing Liam Bridcutt patrolling in front of the defence – but Gus Poyet’s side also looked potent going forward, particularly in the shape of the excellent Johnson, who continued his recent fine form.
After a slow start, the Black Cats took the lead when referee Phil Dowd correctly adjudged that Anita had fouled Bardsley in the box.
With Bardsley running on to Johnson’s clever flick between two defenders, Anita crudely cut across and failed to get the ball, leaving Borini to blast high past Krul’s right hand.
Jozy Altidore’s flick released Colback, whose shot ricocheted off Steven Taylor and bounced away from Krul to the far post, where Johnson swept into an empty net for his sixth goal in four league games.
Though they were pegged back by Newcastle’s second-half resurgence, Sunderland still managed to create chances to extend their lead.
Johnson’s wriggle through a crowd ended with a curling shot off the post and Altidore was denied when through on goal by Krul’s bravery.
But when Colback won the ball on the halfway line, got it back on the left of the penalty area and finished high across goal, the Wearsiders matched their score in the same fixture last season and completed a third straight derby success for the first time in 91 years.