Blackburn boss Sam Allardyce was a happy man as he returned to Newcastle and left with three points after winning the tactical battle.
Allardyce was relieved of his duties at St James' Park in January 2008 after just eight months in charge but marked his first trip back to Tyneside with a win as the Magpies failed to record a fourth successive Barclays Premier League success.
On a night when Andy Carroll did his England chances little harm with a fine goal and Joey Barton once again courted controversy in a clash with Rovers' Morten Gamst Pedersen, it was the visitors who come out on top after nullifying the threat posed by Carroll and his team-mates for long periods.
Instead, it was substitute Jason Roberts who earned his manager's plaudits with an 82nd-minute winner.
Allardyce said: "Our match-winner at the moment is Jason Roberts. He was nearly our match-winner against Chelsea, he was our match-winner against Wigan and he made the goal for himself again in this one, and he won us the game. It was a fantastic victory for us, a really pleasing one for us all and one I think in the end, we deserved.
"We changed the system to cope with the attack of Newcastle United. The very potent front two and the delivery from the wide men has been an outstanding force for them in the last three games and we felt we had to stop that."