YOHAN Cabaye edged Newcastle United closer to the Champions League with two goals against Stoke City.
Papiss Demba Cisse was also on target in a comfortable 3-0 win for Alan Pardew’s side at St James’s Park yesterday.
The result moved Newcastle into the top four of the Premier League.
And United’s destiny will be in their hands should Barcelona beat Chelsea next week and reach the Champions League final.
However, if Chelsea win the competition, the team finishing fourth in the division will only get a place in the Europa League.
Pardew’s side, already all but assured of Europa League football, took the lead through Cabaye in the 14th minute.
Hatem Ben Arfa swung over a cross from the left which met by Cisse, whose header struck the crossbar and bounced down for Cabaye, who nodded it past Asmir Begovic.
Four minutes later a superb pass from Cabaye played in Cisse for his 11th goal for the club.
And Cabaye made certain of the points in the 57th minute with his second goal, the midfielder placing a loose ball beyond Begovic.
Newcastle are now three points ahead of fifth-placed Tottenham Hotspur, beaten 1-0 by Queens Park Rangers, with four games left to play.
Chelsea are a further point adrift, while Arsenal, in third, are three points ahead of United, who have a game in hand over Arsene Wenger’s team.
Pardew’s side take on Wigan Athletic at the DW Stadium on Saturday.
Newcastle United: Krul; Simpson (Gosling, 82), Williamson, Coloccini, Santon; Ben Arfa, Cabaye (Perch, 61), Tiote, Gutierrez; Ba, Cisse (Shola Ameobi, 85). Subs not used: Elliot, R Taylor, Best, Ferguson.
Stoke City: Begovic; Wilson, Shawcross, Huth, Wilkinson (Whitehead, 33); Shotton, Whelan, Walters, Palacios (Jerome, 55), Etherington; Crouch. Subs not used: Sorensen, Jones, Fuller, Pennant, Upson.
Goals: Cabaye 14, 57, Cisse 18
Bookings: Palacios 36, Shawcross 48
Referee: Andre Marriner (West Midlands)
Attendance: 52,167 (900 Stoke)
Read Miles Starforth’s full match report in tomorrow’s Gazette.