This counts as cup run for Newcastle United - and even under-fire record signing Joelinton scored.
Steve Bruce's rampant side progress to a tie at home to Oxford United after Miguel Almiron grabbing his third goal in as many games.
United now have a great chance to progress beyond the 4th round for the first time in 13 years.
Owner Mike Ashley, the man who once decreed the cups were not a priority for the club, watched his first game of the season from the stands, and will have noted the positivity around the ground.
He was on Tyneside to discuss January transfers with Steve Bruce... and was given a first class demonstration of the benefits of signing quality by match winner Almiron, a £20m buy a year ago.
The unusually happy St James' Park crowd, kids in for a fiver, even chanted Steve Bruce's name for the first time.
They saw Brazilian £40m front man Joelinton score a goal – only his second since arriving in the summer. It was United's fourth of the evening set up by debutant Tom Allan's excellent wing play.
Bruce believes a cup run can lift Newcastle – he led Hull to the final in 2014 - and his side responded to their manager's desire.
Rochdale's spirited challenge was killed off quickly as Newcastle scored three goals in nine first half minutes.
The United boss picked a strong starting line up, handing Matt Ritchie his first start since August, and the spiky midfielder delivered two early goal assists.
Ritchie's dangerous cross behind the League One defence forced Dale's Eoghan O'Connell to slide in for a clearance, with Joelinton luring for a tap in. Instead he smashed the ball past his own keeper Robert Sanchez.
Ritchie, who's been out after ankle surgery, then delivered a cross for Matty Longstaff to control, via a defenders head, and coolly stroke home.
The young midfielder is impressing this season alongside his brother, and both are awaiting new contract offers from Ashley.
The top flight side moved the ball quickly wearing down Rochdale, and went three up when Almiron got his fourth of the season.
The Paraguayan has been United's bright spark this year and his hard work for the team is now being rewarded with goals.
This one was presented by a mistake from keeper Robert Sanchez, who mistakenly passed to him. His finish was crisp and confident.
Sanchez was hooked at half time by boss Brian Barry-Murphy.
Dale started competitively with some snappy pressing forcing mistakes, and with a decent shot from Jimmy Keohane. But they soon ran out of ideas.
All that was missing for Newcastle was a goal from mis-firing striker Joelinton and he delivered in the 82 minute, a good finish from Allan's cross.
Amazingly Newcastle have not reached the quarter final since 2006, and now fancy their chances of creating some excitement for their fans.
“We can't win the Premier League, so why not have a go at the cup,” said Bruce.
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