Match Report. Newcastle United 1 AC Milan 2

13 Dec 23

Newcastle United were knocked out of Europe following a 2-1 home defeat against AC Milan in the UEFA Champions League group stages on Wednesday night.

Joelinton’s excellent first half finish sent United ahead at St. James' Park before the Magpies were reduced to level terms towards the hour mark following Christian Pulisic’s close-range finish.

Eddie Howe’s side, requiring maximum points in order to keep their hopes of qualifying for the Champions League knockout stages alive, were delivered a devastating blow in the final stages of the Group F encounter as Milan substitute Samuel Chukwueze netted a late winner for the visitors, resulting in Newcastle’s elimination from European competition altogether.

The hosts began the Group F encounter in bright fashion, with Miguel Almirón’s cross from the right flank forcing Fikayo Tomori into swiping the ball towards his own goal but goalkeeper Mike Maignan, alert to the situation, held the inadvertent effort.

Newcastle continued their push for an early breakthrough, with Kieran Trippier’s curling free kick from distance flying narrowly over the crossbar before Fabian Schär’s speculative drive from distance was directed over the target.

Almirón went agonisingly close to breaking the deadlock after Trippier’s through pass was fired towards by goal by Joelinton but the Paraguyan forward was unable to place the goal bound attempt into the net, with Tomori making an impressive last-ditch challenge on the goal line to turn the ball out for a corner.

Rafael Leão almost punished the hosts minutes later as the Portuguese winger latched onto Yunus Musah’s inviting pass inside the penalty area but the 2022 Serie A Player of the Year could only place his attempt at goal wide of the far right-hand post.

In the 33th minute, Newcastle took the lead courtesy of Joelinton’s stunning strike. After Anthony Gordon picked up the ball within the final third, the Liverpool-born forward drove forward before finding Lewis Miley, who teed up Joelinton before the Brazilian midfielder unleashed an unstoppable drive beyond Maignan into the roof of the net.

The Magpies began the second half in positive fashion as Callum Wilson, targeting a maiden goal at Champions League level, saw two low drives in the opening minutes of the restart both held by Maignan.

The attacking surge continued as Tino Livramento fed Gordon down the left flank before the latter’s cross into the penalty area was wildly hacked out for a corner by Milan defender Theo Hernández.

In the 59th minute, Newcastle were delivered a tough blow as Pulisic drew the visitors level. After Leão’s cross from the left wing was directed into the box, Olivier Giroud diverted the ball into the American forward’s path, who stroked the ball beyond Magpies goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka.

Alexander Isak went close to making a bright impact from the substitutes’ bench as the Swedish forward cut inside from the left flank but his bending effort was directed over the crossbar.

Bruno Guimarães was unfortunate not to fire the Magpies back in front as the Brazilian midfielder’s effort at goal was tipped onto the crossbar by Maignan.

Leão struck the post for the Serie A outfit in the closing stages, capitalising on Tino Livramento’s heavy touch but the winger’s attempt, which flew past Dúbravka, hit the foot of the left-hand post.

In the 84th minute, Newcastle fell behind following Chukwueze’s clinical finish. Following a quick counter-attack from the Italian outfit, the ball found its way to Milan substitute Noah Okafor who slotted the ball into the Nigerian’s path, who silenced the home crowd by delivering a powerful effort into the left-hand corner.

Newcastle were unable to find a late equaliser to ensure qualification into the Europa League play-off spots, with Tomori almost doubling the visitors’ advantage in stoppage-time but the England international crashed his effort off the inside of the left-hand post.

The defeat on Tyneside resulted in the Magpies finishing at the foot of Group F in their first Champions League campaign in more than 20 years, bowing out of Europe in the process.

Related Content