The result and second half collapse was hard to watch, and slightly out of the blue following our dominance in the first 45, but lively performances from Atsu and Yedlin were two of very few positives.
Both ran at their man, created chances and used their pace effectively, but their efforts were all in vein thanks to a lack of quality in the box, with Joelinton and Muto spurning a few big chances to put the tie to bed.
Here’s what he’s had to say during his chat with Football Insider’s Laura O’Leary after Saturday’s FA Cup clash:
“I thought the two wing-backs Atsu and Yedlin dominated the game, particularly Atsu on the left-side.
“I thought in the first half it was a textbook display by Newcastle on how to play a lower league side, Steve Bruce would have been disappointed that they only got one goal.
“They only didn’t win the game as they didn’t perform in the second half, they also lost Almiron to injury so that added to his growing injury list, so, all in all, it turned out not to be a good game for them.
“I thought Atsu and Yedlin were both very very good yesterday as they were positive in the first-half but as I said it eventually ended up being that Bruce couldn’t take many positives from the game as more injuries and due to a replay he didn’t want.”
It’s Rochdale after all, so I don’t think anyone will be getting carried away, but they couldn’t get close to Yedlin down our right-hand side, with Atsu beating his man at will down the other flank.
His speed, dribbling and final product into the box was impressive, with him beating their right-back so regularly that they were forced into a tactical change and early substitution just 28 minutes into the game!
Considering both have pace to burn, let’s hope we seem them running at Premier League full-backs much more regularly in the coming weeks!