AC Milan 0-0 Newcastle Match Report & Player Ratings

Image Source: Getty Images/ Claudio Villa/AC Milan

On Tuesday night, Newcastle United, making their first Champions League appearance in 20 years, held on to a 0-0 draw against AC Milan to salvage a point.

Newcastle’s most recent away match against a top-level opponent in Europe also ended in a tie at San Siro. Inter, the Magpies’ 2003 opponents, scored twice, although Milan had more than enough opportunities in the middle of the week to surpass that total. However, Newcastle’s result was saved by Nick Pope’s excellent goalkeeping and Milan’s awful finishing. It may turn out to be a crucial point with games against Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund coming up.

How the game progressed

Nine shots were made by Howe’s squad in the first 20 minutes as they stumbled in front of a boisterous crowd. Luckily for the visitors, Milan sent each of his early attempts wide or right into Pope’s hands.

Halfway through the game, Rafael Leao failed to challenge Pope in any way. Leading a quick break, Leao tiptoed through a dense cluster of players wearing black and white stripes within Newcastle’s penalty area, but his attempted back-heel struck the ground rather than the ball, and Tommaso Pobega’s attempt was swiftly cleared off the goal line by Jacob Murphy.

Newcastle came out of halftime with much better line stitching, confusing Milan and even taming the noise of the home crowd. Leao was frequently involved in the somewhat limited opportunities Milan did produce after the break, but the Portuguese sensation had not adjusted his radar.

Milan’s goalkeeper Mike Maignan hobbled out in the 80th minute without having to make a single save. Sean Longstaff’s piercing long-range attempt, Newcastle’s first and only shot on target in the game, was deflected over by his substitute, Marco Sportiello, in stoppage time.

Player rankings for Milan (4-3-3)

GK: Mike Maignan – 6/10

RB: Davide Calabria – 4/10

CB: Malick Thiaw – 7/10 

CB: Fikayo Tomori – 8/10

LB: Theo Hernandez – 7/10

CM: Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 5/10 

CM: Rade Krunic – 6/10 

CM: Tommaso Pobega – 5/10 

RW: Samuel Chukwueze – 3/10

ST: Olivier Giroud – 6/10 

LW: Rafael Leao – 7/10 

Player rankings for Newcastle (4-3-3)

GK: Nick Pope – 8/10

RB: Kieran Trippier – 6/10 

CB: Fabian Schar – 6/10 

CB: Sven Botman – 5/10 

LB: Dan Burn – 6/10 

CM: Sean Longstaff – 4/10 

CM: Bruno Guimaraes – 6/10 

CM: Sandro Tonali – 5/10 

RW: Jacob Murphy – 5/10 

ST: Alexander Isak – 3/10 

LW: Anthony Gordon – 5/10

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