Newcastle kept their unbeaten start to the Premier League campaign going on Saturday with a workmanlike 2-1 win at Wolves which provisionally lifted the Tynesiders into third in the table.
Demba Ba and Jonas Gutierrez made it four wins and three draws for Alan Pardew's side who were tipped to struggle after little transfer activty over the summer.
Instead they have 15 points from seven games, provisionally two ahead of Chelsea - who face Bolton on Sunday - and four behind the two Manchester clubs, both setting a scorching pace.
A late Steven Fletcher goal for Wolves could not prevent the hosts from handing the Midlanders a fourth straight loss, whereas a win would have lifted them into the top half.
Yohan Cabaye, settling well into the Newcastle midfield following his summer move from French champions Lille, whipped over a cross and Ba nodded in his fourth goal of the season for the opener on 19 minutes, following up last week's treble against Blackburn.
Gutierrez, fresh from signing a contract extension, should have made it two but allowed Wayne Hennessey in the home goal to smother his point-blank range effort on 24 minutes.
But the Argentine made amends with his first goal of the campaign eight minutes before the interval, driving home from the edge of the box.
Wolves had won four and drawn two of their last six home meeting with Newcastle but last week's narrow loss at Anfield meant Mick McCarthy's side had lost three matches on the bounce.
And the Black Country outfit's luck appeared to be out when referee Mark Halsey only saw fit to award a freekick when Steven Taylor appeared to foul Jamie O'Hara inside the penalty area as the Magpies rode their luck.
Newcastle's recent recruit from Inter Milan Davide Santon had recovered from a knee injury but was on the bench as Pardew kept faith with Ryan Taylor at left-back.
But midway through the second half they had to make a change up front as Ba, having seemingly turned his ankle, gave way to Peter Lovenkrands with 20 minutes remaining.
With time running out, Wolves threw everything forward and Fletcher forced a fine save from Newcastle keeper Tim Krul before the same player headed wide.
But the striker finally did get his name on the scoresheet, heading home a Adam Hammill cross with three minutes left.