By Tom Easterby - Newcastle United Club Reporter
At St. James' Park
Newcastle United 5 (Wijnaldum 19, 72 pen, Mitrovic 39, Aarons 83, Janmaat 86)
Tottenham Hotspur 1 (Lamela 59)
Newcastle United signed off their season with a stunning 5-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at St. James' Park.
But Wijnaldum's second, which came from the penalty spot after Mitrovic had been sent off for a challenge on Kyle Walker, made it 3-1 and gave the hosts some breathing space.
However, Spurs dominated possession in the opening minutes. Full back Kyle Walker saw his powerful shot charged down and Christian Eriksen sent a speculative left-footed effort high into the Gallowgate End.
United's first real foray into the Tottenham half culminated in a shot from Jack Colback which was blocked, with Mitrovic unable to guide his header past Hugo Lloris when the ball fell for him.
And the Serbian forward then had two further sights of goal as the Magpies gradually grew in stature; firstly, his shot was stopped on its way to goal by Toby Alderweireld, and then the frontman failed to make a proper connection with Janmaat's enticing low cross from the right.
Andros Townsend - starting against the club that Newcastle bought him from back in January - then blasted one over Lloris' crossbar with Benitez's men beginning to impose themselves on the contest in earnest and, with 19 minutes on the clock, they took the lead.
Another Janmaat cross caused problems for the Spurs backline and the ball fell to Moussa Sissoko at the back post. The French international had the composure to look up and square it for Mitrovic, whose lay-off for Wijnaldum was inviting. The 25-year-old's finish was inch-perfect, nestling just inside Lloris' left-hand post to give the Magpies the advantage in front of a packed St. James' Park.
And six minutes before the break, they made it two. Skipper Sissoko's fine centre was met by Mitrovic, who planted a well-placed header past Lloris and into the back of the net, leaving Mauricio Pochettino's side with plenty of work to do in the second period.
Pochettino made two changes at half time, bringing on Josh Onomah and Tom Carroll for the largely ineffective Heung-min Son and Ryan Mason, and after the former's low cross created danger in the area, Eric Dier's shot threatened to cut the deficit but Paul Dummett threw himself in the way of it to divert it wide.
Danish playmaker Eriksen saw his free kick fail to beat the United wall as the hosts continued to defend resolutely. Colback's intervention prevented Lamela from pulling the trigger after Ben Davies had beaten the offside trap and squared it for him in front of goal, but the Argentine fared better when Dier laid on a shooting opportunity for him just before the hour.
Lamela's well-hit strike from a tight angle was too strong for Karl Darlow, who was beaten as the ball flew in off the underside of the crossbar to give Tottenham hope of mounting a comeback.
Minutes later, Darlow had to be alert as the visitors broke again and Onomah tried his luck, but the former Nottingham Forest custodian held his low drive, and with 23 minutes remaining United were reduced to ten men when Mitrovic was shown a straight red card for a challenge on Walker.
But Benitez's charges responded superbly. Sissoko broke down the left, cut inside and was brought down by Eriksen in the box. Referee Anthony Taylor pointed straight to the spot, and up stepped Wijnaldum to send Lloris the wrong way and grab his second of the game in front of the Gallowgate End.
Wijnaldum was then withdrawn, with Rolando Aarons sent on in his place, and the Magpies could have had a fourth when good work from the winger created a chance for Sissoko, whose curling effort was turned over by his French international teammate Lloris.
Three huge chances then came and went for Newcastle, with Sissoko and Townsend unlucky not to get themselves on the scoresheet, but the result was made safe with two fine goals in the final ten minutes.
Firstly, after Townsend had thumped the woodwork, Aarons lashed home his first goal of the season at the far post and then, with Spurs pushing forwards in search of a goal, the substitute broke away and fed the overlapping Janmaat, who finished low across Lloris into the bottom left-hand corner to seal an emphatic victory.
And there was still time for young full back Jamie Sterry to be introduced by Benitez for his debut late on as Newcastle recorded their biggest triumph of the campaign on the last day.
Newcastle United (4-2-3-1): Karl Darlow; Daryl Janmaat, Steven Taylor, Chancel Mbemba, Paul Dummett; Cheick Tiote (Jonjo Shelvey 62), Jack Colback; Andros Townsend, Moussa Sissoko (c) (Jamie Sterry 83), Georginio Wijnaldum (Rolando Aarons 76); Aleksandar Mitrovic
Tottenham Hotspur (4-2-3-1): Hugo Lloris (c); Kyle Walker (Nacer Chadli 71), Toby Alderweireld, Jan Vertonghen, Ben Davies; Eric Dier, Ryan Mason (Tom Carroll 46); Erik Lamela, Christian Eriksen, Heung-min Son (Josh Onomah 46); Harry Kane
Subs not used: Michel Vorm, Danny Rose, Kevin Wimmer, Clinton N'Jie
Referee: Anthony Taylor (Greater Manchester)
Bookings: Newcastle United - Aarons (85); Tottenham Hotspur - Mason (45), Lamela (62)
Sendings off: Newcastle United - Mitrovic (67); Tottenham Hotspur - none