But the Keegan feeling lifted the atmosphere at St James' Park, and City were blown away.
Stoke boss Tony Pulis admitted his side had simply not been good enough amid a carnival atmosphere at Gallowgate.
Pulis: "There are no excuses tonight. We were beaten by a better team. They deserved it.
"When a Championship team comes to a club like this, we have got to be right on our game.
"You can carry maybe one or two players - tonight, we were carrying seven or eight.
"My lads have been magnificent all season; we were poor tonight and Newcastle deserved to win and I just wish them all the best at Arsenal in a week's time."