Premier League - Cisse double floors West Brom
Papiss Cisse scored twice and set up the other goal before being carted off with severe cramp in Newcastle's impressive 3-1 Premier League win over West Brom at The Hawthorns.
Ben Arfa played provider for Cisse to sweep the opening goal into the net on six minutes with a lovely ball across goal, before the Frenchman finished off a blistering counter-attacking move when he buried a shot beyond home goalkeeper Ben Foster from Cisse's pass from the edge of the West Brom box on 12 minutes.
A 2-0 lead became 3-0 when Ba backheeled the ball into the path of Ben Arfa, who found Cisse to thump the third goal past Foster on 34 minutes before kissing the pitch.
Cisse is the joint-quickest Newcastle player alongside Les Ferdinand to reach five goals in six games in the Premier League.
West Brom substitute Shane Long - who arrived at half-time to take over from Jerome Thomas - scored a consolation on 52 minutes after Michael Williamson collided with his goalkeeper Tim Krul enabling the Republic of Ireland forward to score his seventh goal of the season.
Home goalkeeper Foster also made solid stops from Ba early on while he denied Cisse a hat-trick as he bounded in on goal after half-time.
The one downside of the day for Newcastle manager Alan Pardew and the visiting fans was the sight of Cisse being stretchered off to be replaced by Shane Ferguson with 18 minutes remaining after he tried to collect a loose ball with nobody near him.
A relieved Pardew - who lost defender Fabricio Coloccini to a hamstring strain at the break - later confirmed it was nothing more serious than cramp on a hot day in the BIrmingham area.
That did not impact upon a result that sees Newcastle draw level with fifth-placed Chelsea on 50 points in the table. With Tottenham only five points clear in fourth, the possibility of Champions League football next term is not out of the question for Newcastle with eight games remaining.
They are now eight clear of seventh-placed Liverpool, an outcome nobody could have predicted at the outset of the campaign.
West Brom ended the day with 10 men after the Scotland midfielder James Morrison was helped off the pitch having used all their substitutions on 80 minutes, but they were a beaten lot before that stage.