Newcastle United made a remarkable comeback to the Champions League, securing a hard-fought 0-0 draw against AC Milan on their first appearance in two decades.
This memorable clash at the San Siro bore a striking resemblance to their previous Champions League encounter against Inter Milan in 2003, which also ended in a draw. However, this time, fate took a different path as Milan squandered numerous chances to break the deadlock, while Newcastle’s Nick Pope delivered an outstanding goalkeeping performance.
With challenging fixtures against Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund on the horizon, this point could prove invaluable for the Magpies.
The Thrilling Match
The atmosphere at the stadium was electric, with Newcastle’s manager Eddie Howe expressing awe at the raucous crowd even before kick-off. Newcastle initially struggled, with Milan firing nine shots in the opening 20 minutes. Fortunately, Milan’s early attempts missed the target or landed safely in Pope’s gloves.
Rafael Leao’s missed opportunity was a pivotal moment. Half an hour into the contest, Leao led a rapid break but failed to test Pope, stabbing the turf instead of the ball during an attempted back-heel. In the ensuing chaos, Jacob Murphy cleared Tommaso Pobega’s effort off the goal line.
During halftime, Eddie Howe appeared to have inspired his team. Newcastle emerged from the break with a more organized defense, frustrating Milan and quietening the home crowd.
In the second half, Milan’s chances predominantly involved Rafael Leao, but the Portuguese starlet struggled to find his accuracy. Milan’s finishing was equally wayward.
In contrast, Newcastle’s goalkeeper, Mike Maignan, had a relatively uneventful night and was substituted in the 80th minute due to injury, having not faced a single shot on target. His replacement, Marco Sportiello, finally encountered Newcastle’s only shot on target in stoppage time, a powerful long-range effort by Sean Longstaff.
Overall, this Champions League clash showcased Newcastle United’s resilience and marked a promising start to their European campaign. With challenging matches ahead, they will aim to build on this hard-earned point.
AC Milan (4-3-3)
- Mike Maignan: 6/10
- Davide Calabria: 4/10
- Malick Thiaw: 7/10
- Fikayo Tomori: 8/10
- Theo Hernandez: 7/10
- Ruben Loftus-Cheek: 5/10
- Rade Krunic: 6/10
- Tommaso Pobega: 5/10
- Samuel Chukwueze: 3/10
- Olivier Giroud: 6/10
- Rafael Leao: 7/10
Newcastle United (4-3-3)
- Nick Pope: 8/10
- Kieran Trippier: 6/10
- Fabian Schar: 6/10
- Sven Botman: 5/10
- Dan Burn: 6/10
- Sean Longstaff: 4/10
- Bruno Guimaraes: 6/10
- Sandro Tonali: 5/10
- Jacob Murphy: 5/10
- Alexander Isak: 3/10
- Anthony Gordon: 5/10
- Callum Wilson (63′ for Gordon) – 5/10
- Miguel Almiron (63′ for Murphy) – 5/10
- Elliot Anderson (72′ for Tonali) – 5/10
- Harvey Barnes (90′ for Guimaraes) – N/A
- Stefano Pioli (Milan): 6/10
- Eddie Howe (Newcastle): 6/10
Player of the Match: Fikayo Tomori (Milan)
This thrilling clash marked Newcastle United’s triumphant return to the Champions League, and”