Joey Barton faced the full fury of Manchester City's fans after asking for a move, but played a key role in an impressive win against Newcastle.
Albert Riera celebrates putting Manchester City ahead
He set up Albert Riera's opener after 13 minutes as City piled the pressure on Newcastle boss Graeme Souness.
Andy Cole headed a second against his former club seven minutes before the interval and Darius Vassell raced clear to add a third after 62 minutes.
Newcastle were abject, with fans unfurling a "Souness Out" banner.
Barton's name was jeered when it was read out before kick-off and his every touch was met with a chorus of disapproval from City's fans early on.
But it did not stop the midfield man playing a vital part as City established a well-deserved two-goal lead by the interval.
Barton was instrumental as City went ahead after 13 minutes, his cross missing out Cole before arriving at the feet of Riera, who beat goalkeeper Given with a left-foot finish from 20 yards.
Newcastle were an abject embarrassment in the opening 45 minutes, and Vassell could have twice doubled their lead before Cole got the second seven minutes before the interval.
Newcastle fans vent their frustration against boss Souness
Vassell had time and space to pick out Cole, who was left unmarked to wrong-foot Shay Given with a header.
Newcastle fans were venting their frustration against Souness - and he responded with a double change at half-time, sending on Nolberto Solano and Albert Luque for Michael Chopra and Charles N'Zogbia.
It had no effect and Newcastle's calamitous defence was exposed again as Vassell added a third just after the hour mark.
Cole delivered a perfect pass for Vassell to race clear of the lumbering Jean-Alain Boumsong to send a composed finish past Given.
It was the signal for City boss Stuart Pearce to give £6m new boy Georgios Samaras his debut, with Cole going off.
Newcastle barely raised a threat as City strolled to victory, with captain Alan Shearer never threatening to get the goal that would beat Jackie Milburn's record of 200 for the club.
Manchester City manager Stuart Pearce:
"I do not agree with what Joey Barton has done in asking for a move.
"I believe he has done totally the wrong thing and I have told him so.
"Joey has quite strong opinions, as we have seen over the last 48 hours, but he needs to put this to one side, keep his mouth shut and play football.
"In this game, I find if you put your head above the parapet, you tend to get it knocked off.
"Joey has delivered tonight but he has to keep doing it for weeks, months and years."
Newcastle manager Graeme Souness:
"We had most of the ball but did nothing with it. The difference was that their two strikers, Andy Cole and Darius Vassell, were fantastic.
"We kept going right to the end, but at 2-0 we had to chase it and that's how their third came about.
"The third goal on the break maybe flatters them because I don't think 3-0 was a fair scoreline."
Man City: James, Jihai, Dunne, Distin, Jordan, Sinclair, Barton (Richards 78), Musampa, Riera, Cole (Samaras 65), Vassell (Sibierski 69).
Subs Not Used: Ireland, Wright-Phillips.
Goals: Riera 14, Cole 38, Vassell 62.
Newcastle: Given, Ramage, Boumsong, Bramble, Babayaro, Clark, Parker, Emre (O'Brien 81), N'Zogbia (Solano 45), Shearer, Chopra (Luque 45).
Subs Not Used: Harper, Elliott.
Ref: C Foy (Merseyside).