Christian Atsu played from start to finish as Newcastle United comfortably saw off Rochdale 4-1 in the third-round replay of the FA Cup at St James’ Park on Tuesday night.
The Magpies had played out a 1-1 draw with the League One outfit at the Crown Oil Arena in the reverse fixture a fortnight ago, with Atsu providing the assist for the in-form Miguel Almiron that afternoon.
It was the Ghana international’s fourth assist of the season in all competitions which is the most of any Newcastle player.
Steve Bruce’s men raced to a 3-0 lead in the opening 26 minutes this time, thanks to an Eoghan O'Connell own-goal, Matthew Longstaff and Almiron.
Atsu’s pass to Emil Krafth could have made it 4-0 in the 28th minute but the Swedish right-back played the ball over the bar.
Joelinton did make it stick eight minutes to end before Michael Jordan Williams scored the consolation for the visitors in the 86th minute.
Newcastle have a date at home with Oxford United in the fourth round on January 25.