Rafa Benitez gives his verdict after Newcastle pass his 40-point target with stunning win over Arsenal

Matt Ritchie (Pic: Stephen Dobson)
Matt Ritchie (Pic: Stephen Dobson)

Rafa Benitez says Newcastle United deserve to be in the Premier League's top 10.

Benitez's side recorded a fourth successive win this afternoon to pass his 40-point target – and moved 13 points clear of the relegation zone.

Newcastle came from behind at St James's Park to beat Arsenal 2-1 thanks to goals from Matt Ritchie and Ayoze Perez.

United, in 10th place, are now on 41 points ahead of their visit to ninth-placed Everton on April 23.

“Obviously, I'm really pleased, because it was important for us to achieve that, and the way that we did it," said Benitez.

"Every single player, every fan, every member of the staff, I have to congratulate them, because it has been a fantastic achievement in a very difficult season.

“We started learning without too much experience for some players in the Premier League, and little by little we were growing and especially in this second part of the league, the team has grown in confidence.

“We were so good in a lot of things that in the end, I think we deserve to be where we are.

“Some people were dreaming that maybe we could be here, but they were not awake. We were awake, we were believing from day one, and we have achieved what we wanted."