"That reception I received from our supporters at the end our supporters makes me really proud", admitted Benitez, who was serenaded by 50,000 fans at the final whistle demanding he remains in charge.
The Spaniard has a strained relationship with club owner Mike Ashley, but the former Liverpool, Inter Milan and Real Madrid manager gave the clearest indication yet that he is willing to see out the remaining year on his contract at St James' Park. It's an all-too-familiar irony: The errors made by Chelsea over the past few years in the players they willingly let go keep resonating, in lists of key contributors to clubs who have finished above them, like Salah, or Kevin de Bruyne, or Romelu Lukaku.
Martin Dubravka (8/10): Had absolutely nothing to do in the first half but showed once again as to why he has transformed into a cult figure during his short stint with Newcastle with some great saves, which kept denying Chelsea from getting on the scoresheet.
Harry Kane became the second Premier League player to score 30 goals this season, as Spurs trailed 1-0 and 3-1.
Antonio Conte lined his bench with the players he will likely call upon when Chelsea try to dress up a woeful season with a little glamour next weekend as they look to lift a fifth FA Cup title in 12 years.
Warriors control second half to beat Rockets in Game 1: 3 takeaways
The Rockets and Warriors had a near identical route to this stage with both teams losing one game in each of their series' so far. Can they move past the Rockets just as quickly? All of that, however, probably won't be enough for them to get by Golden State.
Conte told his postmatch news conference that Chelsea had to rediscover their desire if they were to have any chance in the FA Cup final against Manchester United next Sunday.
Benitez said: "If we want to achieve something, we have to understand the way to do that".
Joselu took Gayle's place early in the second half.
"We have to sit down, talk and see where we are".
When asked why the Nigerian's departure affected the team, Conte said, "Yes". Conte has fronted most of the criticism for his team selection, namely dropping Olivier Giroud and Eden Hazard, a pair that had helped them win the last four games in which they have started. Newcastle have enjoyed a fairly strong return to the Premier League under Rafa Benitez and will head into Sunday's match with safety confirmed and a chance to spoil any potential Chelsea party.