AYOZE PEREZ was compared to Lionel Messi after scoring twice and produced a moment of magic in Newcastle United’s terrific comeback to beat Everton.

The Magpies were 2-0 down at half-time, but won 3-2 with Salomon Rondon scoring first Newcastle goal after being teed up with a clever pass by Perez.

“The first goal was a great goal,” said Benitez, whose team has now won five games in a row at St James’ Park.

“I was joking that if Messi had done what Ayo did and Alan Shearer finished like Rondon, everybody would have been talking for a month about that.

“They did really well, so I'm really pleased for them and really pleased for the fans because the first games that we were not winning at home was a bit disappointing for everyone.

“Now winning games in a row, the fans are enjoying it, so I think everybody has to be happy in the city.”

Rondon’s goal came in the 65th minute, leaving plenty of time for Newcastle to complete a comeback that scarcely looked likely when Matt Ritchie missed a first-half penalty with the score at 1-0, and within 60 seconds Everton led 2-0 when Richarlison tapped in.

Jordan Pickford had conceded the spot-kick by fouling Rondon and escaped further punishment, but Benitez did not think the goalkeeper should have been sent off.

Benitez said: “No. It was the penalty and the keeper, it could be a yellow card, but that's it. I'm not too worried about that.

“If the keeper is the last man, it could be a yellow card – the rule has changed in this kind of situation. But anyway, it's not a red card at the moment, it's just a penalty and for us, it was just an opportunity that we missed and a goal that we conceded.”

Newcastle’s prospects of being relegated have subsided by winning five home games in a row, beating Cardiff, Man City, Huddersfield, Burnley and now Everton.

It is the first time Newcastle have strung together five successive home league wins in the same season since 2004, but Benitez said: “I don't think too much about that. I was just thinking about getting three pints and that's it. If we can carry on winning games at home, I will be happy.”

Newcastle are 13th, six points above the relegation zone, and their next two fixtures are at Bournemouth and Arsenal.