As a dress rehearsal for Sunday's home date with Manchester United, this European interlude could barely have been bettered. Responding to Alan Pardew's request to "up their levels" Newcastle rediscovered some of last season's power and rhythmic poise in time to not only overwhelm an initially awkward Bordeaux but also offer Sir Alex Ferguson reason for anxiety.
Along the way Pardew's players enhanced their chances of qualifying for the Europa League's knockout stages, particularly as Bordeaux were many pundits' favourites to win the group.
"I wanted us to play with a bit more energy, verve, audacity and ambition and we did that against strong opponents who were on a 17-game unbeaten run," said Pardew, who this week had reportedly "read the riot act" to his squad. "Our control, our passing was terrific," he added. "It's a relief; we set ourself standards last year that we hadn't reached this season – until tonight."
Fast, fluid and frenetic it all began in exhilaratingly open mode. Yohan Cabaye dispatched an angled shot narrowly wide of a post, Bordeaux's Ludovic Obraniak headed over the bar after connecting with Jaroslav Plasil's cross and then, in the 16th minute, Newcastle were ahead.
The ever dangerous Gabriel Obertan, deployed, unusually, on the left of Pardew's front three, met Cabaye's wonderful pass and, thanks to a mixture of scorching pace and slick changes of feet, outwitted his marker, Mariano. All too often Obertan- who began his career at Bordeaux - betrays much thrilling approach work with substandard crosses but this time his left-wing centre was low and ideally measured for Shola Ameobi to tap in at the far post.
At that stage Bordeaux's passing and movement remained far too clever for Pardew to relax and he could have done without Cheik Tioté collecting yet another yellow card for a late tackle on Henri Saivet. With the Ivorian's abrasive style restricted not only by the need to watch his step but an ankle knock, Ludovic Sané, Bordeaux's midfield enforcer, temporarily exerted a bigger influence on proceedings than Tioté might have hoped. No matter; Danny Simpson, back at right-back following a hamstring injury, soon met Ameobi's ball and supplied a cross so teasing and testing that Henrique turned it into his own net.
Although Hatem Ben Arfa, Demba Ba, Jonás Gutiérrez and Davide Santon were rested, much of Newcastle's old fluency was returning and, despite forcing a flurry of early chances and corners, Bordeaux folded after Papiss Cissé scored his team's third. Cissé had been having a quiet evening to Ameobi's right but when Shane Ferguson, promising at left-back, unleashed a splendid delivery the Senegal striker, albeit marginally offside, swept a left-foot shot past Cédric Carrasso. For the third time Bordeaux could summon no answer to a stellar cross.
A streaker briefly interrupted things, wrestling with stewards before, eventually, being arrested, but there was to be no stopping Newcastle.