Raheem Sterling's eighth-minute opener, on his 100th Premier League appearance for City, came at the start of a first half that resembled an attack-vs. -defence training-ground exercise, as the visitors regularly ceded possession.
One major talking point from the game though was that last seasons PFA Young Player Of The Year Leroy Sane was left out of City's match day squad.
But the home side conceded a sloppy goal when Kenedy played in Rondon on the left and the striker slid a low cross into the six-yard box toward the far post where Mendy would normally have been guarding.
'We want it as well, but you know, knockout games can depend on many things. That is the reason why.
"The last game, Phil Foden was not in the squad".
"In the next games he will be ready to play".
The Magpies boss told BT Sport his team's display gave him cause for optimism. "We were working so hard and that is something to be positive about for the future", Benitez said. "Should City be in the third division and say "we've got awesome fans but we're not allowed to have success"?" "For me, as a manager, I am really proud of my players".