Alright, now that’s more like it. Newcastle are well in control here and should have a very comfortable second half after grabbing a 3-0 lead in the first half.
Newcastle lined up in a 3-5-2 with Isaac Hayden on the right side of the back three. Christian Atsu was playing in a free role in support of Almiron and Joelinton.
Rochdale sat deep in the early goings frustrating Newcastle, who had close to 80% possession in the first 15 minutes but couldn’t quite fashion a good chance. However, that soon changed.
After coming close when a deflected Miguel Almiron shot hit the post, Newcastle got the opening goal after Rochdale defender Eoghan O’Connell knocked a Matt Ritchie cross into his own net in the 17th minute.
Just a few minutes later, Matt Longstaff got his third of the season on a cross by Matt Ritchie. He had plenty of time to control the ball and put it away for the crucial second goal.
Then it was that man again Miguel Almiron, who got his 4th goal of the season in the 26th minute. Rochdale keeper Robert Sanchez just rolled the ball to a waiting Almiron in the box. The Paraguayan calmly waited for the right moment to bury it into the net.
— The Emirates FA Cup (@EmiratesFACup) January 14, 2020
Newcastle have dominated this half similarly to the first match. However, this time we’ve buried many of our chances.
After a tepid first fifteen minutes in which Rochdale were able to stifle Newcastle a bit, the lads have found their rhythm and have put this one to bed early barring a disastrous second half.
Now let’s get Tom Allan on for his debut!