Rafa Benitez was satisfied with his team’s performance by the time the final whistle came.

The United boss announcing it as ‘job done’ after his players won 4-0 to go back to the top of the table.

Rafa believed that his team had control for the first 25 minutes but in reality the Newcastle players struggled to make any impression against some resolute Rotherham defending.

The return of Jonjo Shelvey was crucial and he delivered the pass that opened up the visitors and after Daryl Murphy opened the scoring on the stroke of half-time, the writing was on the wall for Rotherham.

With injuries and international duty, Rafa’s team pretty much picked itself, his bench full of defenders and players who don’t usually feature.

Goals either side of half-time totally changed the game and that made it so much easier for Rafa Benitez to then introduce the likes of Ameobi and Sterry, as he looked to protect first teamers Yedlin, Gouffran and Murphy.

Rafa Benitez:

“We scored the first goal at the right time and then got the second at a good time too. We had a lot of chances, it was a comfortable win in the end.

“Credit to them, they were working hard and in the first half they made it difficult to play against.

“We needed to win, we did it, we scored four goals, got a clean sheet and three points, so it was job done. We are going in the right direction.

“We knew before that it could be a difficult game in terms of confidence.

“We needed to start well and I think that we had the control for 25 minutes and they were not creating anything, then we made a silly foul in the middle, they get the corner and we started to look nervous.

“We had problems, they grew in confidence.

 “Maybe they had one or two counter attacks, only one was dangerous. We could have scored more goals.

“You have to give credit to them because they worked hard and it was not easy for us to create chances.”

Stats from BBC Sport:

Newcastle 4 Rotherham 0

Goals:

Newcastle: Murphy 45+3, Ritchie 49, 77 Perez 59

Possession was Rotherham 32% Newcastle 68%

Total shots were Rotherham 11 Newcastle 24

Shots on target were Rotherham 4 Newcastle 6

Corners were Rotherham 6 Newcastle 9

Referee: Jeremy Simpson

Crowd: 52,208

Newcastle United:

Darlow, Yedlin (Sterry 80), Lascelles, Clark, Dummett, Hayden, Shelvey, Ritchie, Gouffran (Ameobi 64), Perez, Murphy (Lazaar 75)

Subs:

Sels, Barlaser, Hanley, Haidara

(Read the instant NUFC fan/writer reaction to today’s win HERE)

(To view the interactive player ratings and to add your own, go HERE)

(Read HERE what visiting boss Paul Warne had to say about the game)