Newcastle United continued their charge towards the Champions League with a comfortable victory at home to Stoke City. Two goals from Yohan Cabaye and Papiss Cisse’s 11th goal in 10 games ensured the Magpies moved into 4th place in the Premier League table.

It was another majestic attacking performance from Alan Pardew’s side, who now have six wins from their last six games, the first time they have done that in 16 years. Recently it has been Cisse who has been hogging the headlines with his instant impact since signing from Freiburg. However, this time it was Cabaye who ran the show, with an excellent display of passing and playmaking, combined with two well-taken goals.

The win leaves Europa League qualification almost guaranteed for the Magpies, with anything less than a win for Everton at Old Trafford tomorrow ensuring the Geordies will be jetting off to Europe every Thursday next season.

It could be every Tuesday or Wednesday for Pardew’s side though, as their recent amazing form has been complimented by Tottenham’s dismal run and opened up 4th place and the last Champions League place.

And with players like Cabaye, Ben Arfa, Ba and Cisse playing in the vein of form they currently are, it surely must be Newcastle who are favourites to be playing in Europe’s elite competition.

Ben Arfa was the architect of Newcastle’s opening goal, when he jinked past Marc Wilson and provided a perfect cross for Cisse. The Senegal striker’s header crashed back off the crossbar and with Asmir Begovic already beaten, Cabaye was on hand to head in the opener.

Just four minutes later and Cisse had his record-breaking goal though, when Cabaye’s pass sent the striker haring through on goal. Cabaye cut inside before providing a superbly weighted reverse pass for Cisse, who finished calmly to make it 2-0.

This was turning into a real statement of intent from the Magpies.

Cabaye added a third in the second half when he found the bottom corner with a measured finish, after Stoke had failed to clear danger away from their increasingly troubled goal.

It could have been an entirely different afternoon for the home side though, as Jonathan Walters missed a clear opportunity early on when he ballooned Peter Crouch’s knockdown.

But this was Newcastle’s day, as they continued their incredible run towards the Champions League and sent a message to the rest of the contenders for the top four positions in the Premier League. The bubble has not burst, and long may it keep inflating.