"I think the difference at United with and without Pogba kind of backs up what we are saying about why we think City are going to win the title".
Benitez said: "They are different".
Club-record signing Pogba suffered a hamstring problem after he scored two goals and made two assists in his opening four Premier League games.
Then they began to work up through the gears, scoring twice before half time.
Pogba's moment of magic was what Old Trafford needed.
You could feel the tension lifting inside an Old Trafford not short of angst in recent weeks. However, Dwight Gayle showed why he finished last season on 23 goals in the Championship by expertly finishing a great cross from DeAndre Yedlin in the first half.
"He affects our football", Mourinho said when asked of Pogba's man of the match performance.
"I think we can chase City, why is it not a possibility?" said Ibrahimovic.
"But we all know - myself, and the fellow players - that some players influence the level of the team. So with him we had much more creation, we had a second way out from the first and I'm so happy".
His replacement Lukaku scored the fourth against Newcastle, ending a run of seven games without a goal for the Red Devils. Manchester United are still within eight points of the runaway leaders and the lead up to Christmas will have a significant say in who wins the Premier League this season. I don't know what the future brings but what happens happens.
After a season interrupted by three global breaks so far, United now have games thick and fast - 14 in the six weeks before the end of 2017.
Manchester United striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic hints that his injury was more serious than people realise despite making his return more than a month ahead of schedule.
When the Swede opened up about his own experiences on the road to recovery, he seemed to aim another shot at Pogba's approach to getting back to fitness.
"So to play them together gives us things but also takes some things from us".