Newcastle played in their orange away strips at Rochdale. Bruce kept with three at the back. Emil Krafth played on the right side of the back three with Isaac Hayden on the left. Christian Atsu was in at left wing-back.
From the start, Newcastle were on the front foot with plenty of possession. Christian Atsu and DeAndre Yedlin played very high up the pitch. However, they created very few chances to test Rochdale goalkeeper Robert Sanchez in the early stages.
That all changed in the 17th minute. Christian Atsu again beat his man down the left and found Miguel Almiron in the box. Almiron fired it past the keeper for his second goal as a Magpie. It was a well-deserved lead for the Magpies.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) January 4, 2020
Five minutes later it should have two. Joelinton took an interception from Muto and drove through the Rochdale midfield. He cut to his left in the box but his left-footed shot went wide.
With Atsu skinning Tyler Magloire down the left, they made a change and brought on 17-year-old Luke Matheson at right back in the 30th minute.
In the 39th minute, it was Yedlin this time who played a ball back to Muto in the box who couldn’t beat the keeper. It was another opportunity that Newcastle didn’t take.
Newcastle have dominated this game but just can’t finish their chances. We hope it doesn’t come back to haunt us in the second half.