Newcastle came out unchanged after a dominant first half. It looked like a continuation of our first-half superiority.
The Magpies continued to ask questions of Rochdale as the match was played in their end to start the second half.
It was another forced change for Steve Bruce as Yoshinori Muto was forced off with what looked like a hip injury in the 52nd minute. Bruce brought on Ki Sung-yueng as his first substitute and pushed Almiron forward with Joelinton.
However, Rochdale started to grow into the game and ask some questions of their own.
Martin Dubravka was called into action for the first time with a save on an Oliver Rathbone long-range effort in the 55th minute.
Then Rochdale were able to break from midfield a few minutes later. Oliver Rathbone took another attempt on goal, but Dubravka spilled the ball in the box. Fortunately, Ian Henderson hit the woodwork on the follow-up attempt.
The fitness problems kept coming for Newcastle with Miguel Almiron being forced off with an apparent groin injury in the 63rd minute. Matt Ritchie was brought on at left wing-back with Atsu moving further forward. It was a magnificent sight to see Matt back on the pitch for Newcastle.
Rochdale crafted another great chance through Luke Matheson, who put in a cross from the right flank. It found Rathbone who was through on Dubravka, but the Slovakian made a brilliant save to keep Newcastle in the lead.
However, it wouldn’t last as Joelinton failed to keep possession in the Rochdale half in the 79th minute. Luke Matheson again found space down the right and put in another dangerous cross. This time Aaron Wilbraham put it past Dubravka to make it 1-1.
It was coming, and Newcastle have been punished for not putting this game away in the first half. Rochdale had another chance very late as Atsu was dispossessed deep, but Rathbone couldn’t get his effort on target.
This was a terrible second half that has seen two more Magpies go off injured. We didn’t get anything from our strikers today and are fortunate to still be in the competition.