If someone goes by the name “The Dale”, I think of a 6th year college student and this nickname was given to him by his fellow fraternity brothers for when he gets wasted on a night out. When you compare college student “The Dale” to League One Rochdale, its kinda the same thing. Rochdale probably has some great moments, but you have to be drunk to enjoy them. The victim of “The Dale” on this FA Cup weekend, was Newcastle United.
Going into the match Steve Bruce said he was going to name a strong side he definitely kept his word. Here was the starting lineup for Newcastle United:
Dubravka, Yedlin, Hayden, Fernandez, Krafth, Atsu, M. Longstaff, S, Longstaff, Almiron, Muto, Joelinton.
Certainly a strong lineup, certainly a lineup capable of beating a bottom-dwelling League One side, Hayden and Krafth in the lineup as a center-back, Atsu and Yedlin will be the Wing-Backs, and the front-three will be the same as it was against Leicester.
The other encouraging thing was seeing a few U23 players on the bench. Lewis Cass, Tom Allan, and Elias Sorensen. Ludwig Francillette travelled with the team but did not make the squad.
Initially, the first thing to notice outside of the weird center-back formation of Krafth, Hayden and Fernandez was Atsu and his freedom running down the left side initially (as it should be). The first chance was from Atsu, he ran down the left and delivered a low cross to Joelinton and he skied the effort.
The 1st 15 minutes Newcastle United had 82% possession, Atsu looked clearly like the most dangerous player on the pitch and Yedlin on the other side was the 2nd best. No one for “The Dale” could figure out how to stop them. This is how it should be.
17th Minute: GOAL 1-0 Newcastle (Almiron): MIGGY DID IT AGAIN! It was Atsu again who made the difference. Fernandez started it and got it out to Atsu, He played another low cross and this time it found Almiron who put it in the top left corner for the goal.
Shortly after the goal, Muto won the ball in the midfield and got the ball to Joelinton. Big Joe cut in and out and was able to move the defenders off of him and curled a left footed shot then once again, missed the target.
Newcastle just dominated this first half. Caused Rochdale to make an early change because Atsu did whatever he wanted in this half.
The next chance came from Yedlin. Speedy Yedlin ran down the right and burned everyone, and slides the ball over to Muto who shoots and it was blocked by Sanchez. Should of been 2-0 there. Yedlin deserved that assist.
Halftime 1-0 Newcastle. Big Joe with another big miss but Newcastle dominated the game throughout and should be up way more than 1 goal. Yedlin was fantastic, Atsu was dominate, Almiron got a goal. The only negative was the big chances missed by Muto and Joelinton.
53rd Minute: Muto off for Ki: This was an interesting sub, and Bruce also changed the formation to 3-5-2. Almiron went up alongside Joelinton, Ki joined the Longstaffs in the midfield, Ki was behind them.
Once that formation settled, Atsu went back to work. He relentlessly attacked down the left. This time, he sent in a beautiful cross that connected with Joelinton who again, didn’t score. “The Dale” won’t let Joe score.
63rd Minute Substitution: Ritchie on for Almiron. Ritchie makes his long awaited return and moves into the Left-Wing-Back and Atsu moved further up the left.
After that sub, momentum swung completely to Rochdale. Its like at the bar when “The Dale” is getting on a roll, ripping shots and everyone is chanting their name. Everyone in the home crowd was chanting for “The Dale” from this moment on. The chances for Newcastle completely dried up and it was becoming an embarrassing performance.
79th Minute: Goal Rochdale 1-1 (Wilbraham). Rochdale deserved it unfortunately. Joelineton turned the ball over then “The Dale” attacked down the right, and the 40 year old was able to score. Embarrassing for Newcastle.
Full Time 1-1: The first half was encouraging. I thought we were going to run away with it when Almiron scored but to be honest, Rochdale adjusted after the hour mark and Bruce didnt. Nothing changed and it was another disappointing performance for Newcastle United. They will have a home game replay against Rochdale at Newcastle on either the 14th or 15th of January.
Next up: Saturday, January 11th @ Wolverhampton Wanderers
Stats and Things:
- Miguel Almiron, Martin Dubravka, Emil Krafth, Joelinton, Ki, Matty Longstaff and Yoshinori Muto made their FA Cup debuts.
- With 2 goals, Miguel Almiron is now 2nd on the team in scoring this season.
- Sunderland are still in League One
- Whoscored ranked each individual performance. The following players received a grade of 7 or higher. Christian Atsu (8.2), Miguel Almiron (8.14), DeAndre Yedlin (7.46), Yoshinori Muto (7.22), Sean Longstaff (7.18)
Steve Bruce said:
”If you don’t take your chances this type of thing can happen in the cup. Rochdale made a cup tie of it. The loss of Almiron and Muto took the edge off us and all of a sudden we weren’t a threat any more.
”For as good as we were in the first half, we were disappointing in the second. I do think the couple of injuries was too much.
”Our frailties were there for all to see: we don’t score enough... it should have been out of sight.
”They made a cup tie of it in the second half. Wilbraham caused us all sorts of problems, they went a bit more direct.
”Five games in 15 days. People question whether your training methods are right but nobody can train! They just recover (between playing matches).”
On Gayle and Carroll:
”Both injured - both not right - one with a groin issue and the other with a bit of a hamstring problem. Difficult.”