Newcastle United 4-1 Rochdale: Magpies book FA Cup fourth-round tie with Oxford United
Newcastle manager Steve Bruce hopes Joelinton can kick on after ending a 20-game goal drought against Rochdale to help the Magpies into the FA Cup fourth round.
The Brazilian forward, a £40m signing from Hoffenheim in July 2019, scored his side's fourth goal after 20-year-old substitute Tom Allan marked his senior debut with an assist.
Joelinton, who has come under fire from fans for his lack of goals, celebrated by running over to Bruce and his backroom team.
“Many, many players have come to the Premier League with big experience and find it a struggle,” said Bruce. “So let's hope it just gives him that bit of confidence which every striker needs.
“You saw the difference in him straight away. From the last five minutes to the first five minutes, you saw it straight away because he scored a goal.”
On a night when Newcastle owner Mike Ashley made a rare visit to St James' Park prior to talks with Bruce about transfer targets, the hosts went ahead through Eoghan O'Connell's own goal.
Matty Longstaff, Miguel Almiron and Joelinton found the net before Jordan Williams' consolation.
Newcastle, who have not gone beyond the fourth round since 2006, will host League One Oxford United in the next round.
Rochdale had earned praise after coming from behind to force a third-round replay against the Magpies on 4 January after an equaliser by 40-year-old substitute Aaron Wilbraham.
But their FA Cup run came to an end in front of 2,500 of their travelling fans.
Newcastle get the job done
Newcastle were frustrated they did not finish the job at Rochdale earlier this month and Bruce took no chances by naming a side boasting a combined 104 Premier League starts this season for the replay.
Almiron had already hit a post when O'Connell inadvertently diverted the ball into his own net while trying to cut out a pass by Matt Ritchie, making his first start since August.
Longstaff was unmarked when he added the second while Almiron netted for the third successive game after a howler by Rochdale keeper Robert Sanchez, who passed straight to the Paraguay forward while trying to play out from the back.
Rochdale improved after the break but Joelinton increased Newcastle's lead before Williams pulled a goal back with a shot which went in off the post.
The presence of Ashley was significant.
The billionaire businessman is due to have talks with Bruce this week as the Magpies look to strengthen the squad to combat a lengthy injury list.
Newcastle were without 10 players for last Saturday's 1-1 draw at Wolves, a game which saw Paul Dummett and Dwight Gayle limp off with hamstring problems.
“He's here for a day or two so we'll meet up,” said Bruce on Ashley's visit to St James' Park.
“He's been supportive since I walked in the door. If there's someone there who can improve us, we'll act. I think there's been three deals so far in the Premier League so it's difficult.”
Since Ashley took charge in 2007, six-time winners Newcastle have failed to go beyond the fourth round.
However Bruce, who guided Hull City to the FA Cup final in 2014, has openly said he wants a strong run in the competition.
‘Encouraging for us moving forward' – what they said
Rochdale boss Brian Barry-Murphy: “We've had amazing backing from our supporters. The players were desperate to give them something to shout about in the second half.
“We went to Manchester United earlier in the season in the Carabao Cup and we were lauded for everything that we did there. But there were moments in the first half there when Manchester United had gilt-edged chances and we just managed to defend them.
“Tonight, we weren't able to do that and things went against us in the first half.
“It was really important to see how we reacted in that situation and whether we were able to maintain our way of playing and display our personality.
“We did that in the second half and it was very, very encouraging for us all moving forward.”
Man of the match – Miguel Almiron (Newcastle)
Familiar territory – the stats
- Newcastle have reached the fourth round for the fourth consecutive season. They have not reached the fifth round since 2005-06.
- Matty Longstaff has scored three goals in eight starts for Newcastle in all competitions this season. Only Jonjo Shelvey (5) and Miguel Almiron (4) have netted more for the Magpies in 2019-20.
- Karl Darlow, who was the last Newcastle player to touch the ball before Miguel Almiron's goal, became the second goalkeeper this season to register an assist in the FA Cup, joining Rob Tolfrey of Kingstonian, who did so against Macclesfield in the first round.
Newcastle switch their attention back to the Premier League when they host Chelsea on Saturday (17:30 GMT), while Rochdale are away at Wycombe Wanderers in League One on the same day (15:00).
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