Match ends, Rochdale 1, Stoke City 4.
- Bojan scores but goes off injured
- Ireland, Moses & Walters also on scoresheet
- Bennett nets consolation for Rochdale
- Stoke to visit Blackburn in next round
Stoke City avoided being the victim of another FA Cup fourth-round upset with a comfortable victory at League One side Rochdale.
A stunning volley from Bojan Krkic gave the Premier League side an early lead before a neat finish from substitute Stephen Ireland and a driven Victor Moses goal put them in control.
Rochdale got on the scoresheet late on when Rhys Bennett struck from close range but Jon Walters made sure of victory by tapping home in stoppage time.
Stoke, losing finalists in 2011, will travel to Championship team Blackburn in the fifth round.
After several upsets in Saturday's FA Cup games, there was a sense of belief among the Rochdale supporters that their side could also claim a Premier League scalp.
|FA Cup fifth-round draw|
|Crystal Palace v Liverpool or Bolton Wanderers||Arsenal v Middlesbrough|
|Aston Villa v Leicester City||West Brom v West Ham|
|Bradford City v Sunderland or Fulham||Blackburn Rovers v Stoke City|
|Derby County v Reading||Preston NE or Sheffield Utd v Cambridge Utd or Manchester Utd|
They had seen off Championship side Nottingham Forest to secure their place in the fourth round for the second successive season and, keen to progress even further for the first time since 2003, they immediately went on the attack against Stoke.
An enterprising start saw them win an early corner after Peter Vincenti's shot was deflected behind but for all their early enthusiasm, there was little they could do about a moment of magic from Bojan inside the fourth minute.
The former Barcelona forward quickly adjusted to the unfamiliar surroundings of Spotland when he volleyed in a stunning opener after a clearing header fell to him on the edge of the area.
It was a brilliant finish, but was to be his only contribution as his game was ended just after the half-hour mark when he suffered an injury after chasing a ball into the box. He later left the ground on crutches and will have a scan.
Bojan's departure seemed to invigorate both Rochdale's players and fans and the hosts embarked on an impressive spell of dominance, coming closest to an equaliser when Matt Done poked a shot just wide after getting between two Stoke defenders.
Potters boss Mark Hughes became increasingly animated as the half wore on, and whatever was said in his half-time team talk clearly had the desired effect as the visitors scored twice in under 10 second-half minutes.
First, Ireland slotted in from close range after Moses had broken into the area to set up the chance, before Moses curled the ball into the top corner.
The home fans seemed resigned to defeat after those goals, but were given a smattering of hope when a late free-kick was stabbed in by Bennett.
However, Stoke wrapped things up when Walters struck with virtually the last kick of the game.
Rochdale boss Keith Hill:
"We tried to attack with intent and press the opposition but they are an excellent side. The game is marginal no matter where you stand in the pyramid. Fair play to Stoke, they were worthy winners in the end. The Bojan goal was a great piece of skill but it didn't frighten us.
"The lads have done the club credit."
Stoke manager Mark Hughes:
"We got the job done but credit to Rochdale. In the first half we found it difficult. We had a great goal from Bojan which helped us and in the second half we got to grips with them and turned it around.
"At the weekend a lot of teams fell by the wayside and we weren't going to let that happen to us. We waned to make headlines for the right reasons and thankfully Rochdale haven't made the news.
"Bojan's injury, it is too early to know, he's going for a scan and hopefully it will be good news. Since he came to the club he has done things like that, we see it in training every day.
"We look forward to going to Blackburn now. We'll take a huge following there."
- 3BennettBooked at 89mins
- 7VincentiBooked at 28minsSubstituted forNoble-Lazarusat 58'minutes
- 28CampsSubstituted forAllenat 63'minutes
- 16DoneSubstituted forAndrewat 55'minutes
- 2BardsleyBooked at 77mins
- 12WilsonBooked at 37mins
- 15N'ZonziSubstituted forSidwellat 45'minutesBooked at 74mins
- 27BojanBooked at 29minsSubstituted forIrelandat 32'minutes
- 13MosesSubstituted forAdamat 75'minutes
- Martin Atkinson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Rochdale 1, Stoke City 4.
Goal! Rochdale 1, Stoke City 4. Jonathan Walters (Stoke City) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Marko Arnautovic with a cross.
Rhys Bennett (Rochdale) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Rhys Bennett (Rochdale).
Philipp Wollscheid (Stoke City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt blocked. Marko Arnautovic (Stoke City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Marc Wilson.
Calvin Andrew (Rochdale) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Marc Wilson (Stoke City).
Stephen Dawson (Rochdale) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Steve Sidwell (Stoke City).
Corner, Rochdale. Conceded by Ryan Shawcross.
Goal! Rochdale 1, Stoke City 3. Rhys Bennett (Rochdale) right footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Oliver Lancashire following a set piece situation.
Phil Bardsley (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Scott Tanser (Rochdale) wins a free kick on the left wing.
Foul by Phil Bardsley (Stoke City).
Attempt missed. Reuben Noble-Lazarus (Rochdale) left footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Scott Tanser from a direct free kick.
Substitution, Stoke City. Charlie Adam replaces Victor Moses.
Steve Sidwell (Stoke City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Stephen Dawson (Rochdale) wins a free kick in the attacking half.