Pressure mounted on Graeme Souness as Newcastle lost at home to a hugely controversial Blackburn goal.
Magpies chairman Freddy Shepherd claims the club's target is still a place in Europe, but that looks like wishful thinking in the extreme as Mark Hughes' men plundered all three points and left Newcastle mired in mid-table.
The only goal arrived in the 75th minute as Shefki Kuqi managed to force the ball goalwards and Morten Gamst Pedersen had the final touch, though he ensured the ball crossed the line with his hand.
James Beattie's seventh goal of the season helped resurgent Everton to victory over Arsenal.
The Gunners' ambitions of finishing second in the Barclays Premiership - and claiming with it automatic qualification for the Champions League - suffered a major blow as they lost 1-0 at Goodison Park.
The Toffees moved up to 11th, making it six games unbeaten in the process for David Moyes' men.
James Beattie scored the only goal after 12 minutes for his seventh of the season and the fifth-placed Gunners had Cesc Fabregas sent off late on for lashing out at Tim Cahill.
Middlesbrough battled back from 2-0 down only to lose 3-2 at home to Wigan to make it another bad week for Steve McClaren.
Jason Roberts scored the opener in the third minute when he raced through and his volleyed finish packed too much of a punch for Boro goalkeeper Brad Jones.
David Thompson then scored the second on his Latics debut, getting away from marker Emanuel Pogatetz to nod in Gary Teale's right-wing cross.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, on at half-time for Mark Viduka, headed in a Stewart Downing corner from the right (56) and the Teessiders drew level when Aiyegbeni Yakubu - who strangely opted out of Nigeria's African Nations Cup effort - equalised 10 minutes later following another Downing flag-kick, though he knew little about it as the ball deflected in off his legs.
However, the Latics came up with a dramatic winner as new signing Neil Mellor scored from close range with a sharp finish to extend Boro's winless Premiership run to nine games and leave them still one place above the relegation zone.
Birmingham leapfrogged Portsmouth into 18th place with a 5-0 thumping of the south coast side in a crunch match at St Andrews.
Mario Melchiot delivered a pinpoint cross from the right to the far post and Jiri Jarosik climbed highest to head home in the fifth minute.
Jermaine Pennant made it 2-0 in the 37th minute, latching on to a dummy by new boy Chris Sutton and delaying his effort on goal to perfection.
Matthew Upson added a third with a diving header from Pennant's corner, though Pompey goalkeeper Jamie Ashdown should have done much better.
Substitute Mikael Forssell added a fourth from the penalty spot and David Dunn lashed in a fifth in injury time from Sutton's back-heeled lay-off.
Bolton boosted their hopes of European qualification as they saw off Manchester City 2-0 at home.
A clever backheel by Kevin Nolan opened up the City defence. Stelios Giannakopoulos appeared to have allowed the ball to run away from him but Jared Borgetti was on hand to turn the ball in from close range with eight minutes to go to the break.
Nolan then added the second after Richard Dunne failed to clear Giannakopoulos' free-kick into the box.
Fourth-placed Tottenham could not find a way past Aston Villa either in their clash at White Hart Lane. Spurs midfielder Jermaine Jenas had to be carried off shortly before half-time after a clash of heads with Juan Pablo Angel.
Villa finished the match with 10 men as Gareth Barry was sent off for a foul on Aaron Lennon.