Loic Remy scored both goals as Newcastle’s topsy-turvy start to the season continued in Wales. The Frenchman’s first-half brace gave his side an unassailable lead and despite Cardiff’s best efforts, Newcastle held out.

After Monday night’s defensive debacle at Everton, Alan Pardew unsurprisingly dropped Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa in favour of Mike Williamson and left Hatem Ben Arfa on the bench as Papiss Cisse was recalled.

Yohan Cabaye also returned in midfield and was one of Newcastle’s star players as the Magpies dominated the first half.

Cardiff, however, had the first real opportunity when Frazier Campbell was first to a hopeful long ball. The former England under-21 striker rounded Tim Krul, only to lose his footing when attempting a shot from a wide angle.

From then on, it was all Newcastle in an attacking sense. First, Remy thought he’d scored from close range when he struck a fierce shot but Cardiff goalkeeper David Marshall somehow kept it out and Andrew Taylor was alert to block Cisse’s follow up.

Then the home keeper was in fine form again as Moussa Sissoko’s thunderous effort was repelled. Remy had another chance when he connected with Mathieu Debuchy’s cross but his tame effort was straight at Marshall as Newcastle continued pressurising.

Four minutes later though, the breakthrough came. Remy – playing on the left side of a front three – collected it just inside the Cardiff half, cut inside past two defenders and smashed a low shot past Marshall to give Newcastle a deserved lead.

And it got better for Newcastle less than ten minutes later, when Yohan Cabaye’s excellent pass found Cisse. The Senegal striker, still without a goal this season, forced Marshall into yet another great save but the rebound fell to Remy, who curled in an excellent first-time shot.

Shortly before half-time Cabaye almost made it onto the score sheet himself, when his clever free kick from out wide came back off the post. With everyone expecting him to cross for the crowd of bodies in the box, Cabaye caught Marshall unaware with his shot, only for the woodwork to save the Bluebirds from going into half-time 3-0 down.

Cardiff were given hope early in the second half when Jordan Mutch picked out Peter Odemwingie with a good pass and the Nigerian rounded Krul and tucked away to reduce the deficit to one.

With the clock ticking down and the slender lead remaining intact, Pardew made a controversial choice to replace Remy with Jonas Gutierrez as he tried to protect the winning margin. It was later reported that Remy had been withdrawn due to a slight injury but the move did not go down well with the travelling fans, who wanted to see more of the attacking play that had opened Cardiff up so many times in the first 45 minutes.

The hosts continued to hunt for an equaliser and any chance was likely to involve Mutch, who brought some much-needed creativity to the Cardiff midfield. The England youngster actually had the best chance to grab the equaliser late on but his chip was saved by Krul.

Newcastle then felt aggrieved when referee Kevin Friend waved away penalty protests after Taylor had clearly handballed inside the area but it didn’t matter as they held on and recorded a much-needed victory.