Substitute Luke Moore’s late strike was enough to earn Capital One Cup winners Swansea City a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Newcastle United at the Liberty Stadium.
The Welsh side earned their first major trophy with a 5-0 victory over League Two Bradford City at Wembley last Sunday.
And Moore’s 85th minute goal ensured it was a happy return to Premier League action for the Swans, who rise to seventh in the table.
Swansea walked out to a heroes' welcome at the Liberty Stadium but boss Michael Laudrup warned his players not to get wrapped up in their Cup triumph, with the Dane firmly focussed on his side’s Premier League run-in.
The last two teams to win the League Cup (Liverpool and Birmingham) lost their first league games after lifting the trophy but Swansea started with no signs of a hangover, carving out the best opportunities in the early exchanges.
Newcastle’s defence fell asleep from Jonathan De Guzman’s free-kick, allowing Michu to ghost behind the line and flick on to Ashley Williams - but the Welshman saw his mis-hit shot hacked off the lined by Steven Taylor.
The visitors continued to look shaky at the back and Rob Elliot spilled De Guzman’s long-range shot but, fortunately for the Newcastle goalkeeper, Taylor was on hand to hack clear with Michu lurking.
Swansea then has a penalty appeal waved away after one of Newcastle’s January signings, Mathieu Debuchy, appeared to handled in the box under pressure from Ben Davies.
Magpies boss Alan Pardew cut a frustrated figure on the sidelines as Swansea continued to dominate possession but the away side began to find their feet, with Yohan Cabaye forcing a save from Michel Vorm from a 25-yard free-kick.
The best chance of the opening 45 minutes fell to Swansea, with De Guzman firing in a superb free-kick only for the unmarked Gary Monk to send his mistimed header over the crossbar to leave the score goalless at the break.
Swansea came flying out of the blocks after the break and Elliot pulled off two smart stops in quick succession, first from Angel Rangel and then Nathan Dyer, to keep the score level.
Newcastle then went close to opening the scoring themselves, with Moussa Sissoko flicking a header on to Papiss Cisse, who slipped through the Swansea defence only to fire a fierce volley over from the edge of the box.
Newcastle looked the more likely to score and Cabaye picked out Sissoko, who in turn pulled the ball back to Yoan Gouffran but the Frenchman fired over from 12 yards.
Cabaye was then denied by a superb save from Vorm, who tipped the midfielder’s fierce 25-yard shot onto the crossbar and out for a corner. Vorm was called into action again minutes later, pulling off a smart save to push Sissoko’s long-range shot out for another Newcastle corner.
Swansea were not without their chances, however, and Ki Sung-Yueng got behind the Newcastle defence only to lose his footing and shoot straight at Elliot.
But, with the game seemingly heading for a goalless draw, the hosts broke the deadlock with just five minutes remaining.
The tricky Wayne Routledge earned a yard of space on the left before delivering a cross which had the Newcastle defence at sixes and sevens - and Moore pounced on the loose ball to slot home his first league goal of the season via a Cabaye deflection.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Michel Vorm – Swansea City: The Dutchman produced two excellent saves in the second half to keep Newcastle at bay.
SWANSEA CITY: Vorm 8, Rangel 7, Monk 5, Williams 6, Davies 6, Britton 5, de Guzman 6, Routledge 7, Dyer 6, Hernandez 6, Michu 6. SUBS: Ki 6, Moore 7, Tiendalli n/a
NEWCASTLE UNITED: Elliot 7, Debuchy 6, S.Taylor 7, Yanga-Mbiwa 6, Santon 6, Tiote 5, Cabaye 6, Gutierrez 6, Sissoko 6, Gouffran 6, Cisse 7. SUBS: Ameobi n/a, Marveaux n/a
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