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Season 2023-24
AC Milan (Italy) (a) Champions League Group Match 1

 

 
Date:
Tuesday 2nd September 2023, 5.45pm BST (6.45pm CET)
Live on TNT Sports

Venue:
Giuseppe Meazza Stadium, Milan aka the San Siro

Conditions: Rarified

Tickets: �42 with paper tickets issued to all away fans. A small number were obliged to collect tickets in Milan on matchday. The initial loyalty point level was set at 65, dropping down to one point, following by a ballot of zero point ST holders.

Programme:
unofficial issue on sale outside ground for �10 (pictured)
 

AC Milan

Newcastle

 

0 - 0

 

 

Teams

Goals

Half time: AC Milan 0 Newcastle 0

Full time: AC Milan 0 Newcastle 0

We Said

 

Eddie Howe said:


"You can't underestimate the difficulties of coming here. The emotion of the game, new experiences - we had to take a lot on board today.

"I thought the crowd were very good for Milan. It was a hostile atmosphere and the players had to adjust to that and that is why I don't think you can underestimate the performance and point.

"It will look better and better as time goes on. There were new experiences for a lot of us tonight and hopefully we can grow from this.

"We had our moments in transitions going the other way. That's where probably the quality was missing. A little bit frustrated with that, but we will look to improve.

"
Everyone is entitled to their opinion. I didn�t think the draw was luck on our part. We�re slightly disappointed with how we played with the ball tonight but there�s loads of different reasons for that.

"I thought the way we defended was commendable with the amount of blocked shots and how many times we threw ourselves at the ball. We were determined to defend our goal. Yes, our goalkeeper played well but it was a really good defensive display.

"Nick Pope was outstanding today. He was excellent against Brentford as well and it is no coincidence - two big displays from him and two clean sheets. Absolutely crucial for us.

"He was a giant for us tonight, but I think he has been ever since he signed. He�s been an incredible shot stopper, personality. Everything is top drawer about Nick and he�s so important to us when he plays like that. He�s a very tough man to score against and we�re going to need him in this competition.

"For us to stand up strong and come back fighting in that second half - because I thought that was a good second half display from us - bodes well for the future. All we can try and do is try and win every game." 

They Said

 

Stefano Pioli:

"I have nothing to say about the performance, I'm happy. It's really a shame not to have taken those chances. We played against a strong opponent and we did better than them in everything. 

"We were more intense, we had more quality. It's a shame because starting the group well was important.  We have the quality, we need more determination. We deserved to win, tonight we can go out with our heads held high knowing we can improve further.

"I thank those who applauded me just as I understand those who booed me. The support for the team was incredible, our fans are unique....Sunday was a very difficult day
(losing 1-5 to Inter), the disappointment was enormous because we arrived at the derby with very high motivations. 

"But then I saw the things that a coach wants to see in finishing before a match."
 

Stats


UEFA requirements meant that Newcastle wore a revised home shirt with no stripes on the back and a large white backdrop on which squad name and numbers were displayed in red. The difference in watching from a long distance away inside the ground was profound - why can't the PL do this?

3,811 days after they bowed out of the Europa League at the Quarter Final stage against Benfica, Newcastle played their 135th competitive game in European competition. That figure includes Intertoto Cup ties but excludes the Anglo-Italian competition.

A first-ever competitive meeting with AC Milan saw Newcastle play their 25th Champions League game and record their first ever goalless draw in the competition. 

All 15 Newcastle players utilised were making their debut in European club competition for the club. Unused substitute Paul Dummett was around the first team squad a decade ago but didn't make the bench for any of our Europa League fixtures in the 2012/13 season.

Eight had previously played in Europe: Harvey Barnes (Leicester City), Sven Botman (Lille), Anthony Gordon (Everton), Bruno Guimaraes (Lyon), Aleksandar Isak (AIK, Borussia Dortmund & Real Sociedad), Fabian Schar (Basel), Sandro Tonali (AC Milan), Kieran Trippier (Spurs & Atletico Madrid)

Newcastle named the maximum permitted 12 substitutes on the bench - that figure was seven in their most recent CL campaign of 2003/04.

Senior players not involved here were the injured Joe Willock, Joelinton and Martin Dubravka. Mark Gillespie, Emil Krafth, Javier Manquillo and Matt Ritchie were all omitted from the 23 man A squad.

The absence of Dubravka from the travelling party and the omission of Gillespie from the CL squad saw a maiden senior selection for Aidan Harris. The 16 year-old goalkeeper took squad number 84 and was out on the field warming up with Loris Karius. We're not sure whether the wearsider was able to hear the chants from the away section about ever seeing a mackem in Milan....

Harris is one of three custodians on the club's CL "B" list, along with Will Brown and Adam Harrison. The latter was also in Milan, playing for United U19s against AC Milan across town. Other B listers involved tonight were Elliot Anderson and Lewis Miley.

The Magpies remain unbeaten at the San Siro in four visits, three of them competitive:

1928/29 won 1-0 against Ambrosiana Milan^. Bob Chambers ("Friendly")
1970/71 drew 1-1 against Inter Milan. Wyn Davies (Fairs Cup)
2002/03 drew 2-2 against Inter Milan. Alan Shearer 2 (Champions League)
2023/24 drew 0-0 against AC Milan. No scorer (Champions League)

^ later renamed Inter Milan

Group F table:
  P W D L F A Pts
PSG 1 1 0 0 2 0 3
Newcastle 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
AC Milan 1 0 1 0 0 0 1
Dortmund 1 0 0 1 0 2 0

Group F results/fixtures (all times BST/GMT):

19.09.2023 AC Milan 0-0 Newcastle
19.09.2023 PSG 2-0 Dortmund 8pm
04.10.2023 Dortmund v AC Milan 8pm
04.10.2023 Newcastle v PSG 8pm
25.10.2023 Newcastle v Dortmund 8pm
25.10.2023 PSG v AC Milan 8pm
07.11.2023 Dortmund v Newcastle 5.45pm
07.11 2023 AC Milan v PSG 8pm
28.11.2023 AC Milan v Dortmund 8pm
28.11.2023 PSG v Newcastle 8pm
13.12.2023 Dortmund v PSG 8pm
13.12.2023 Newcastle v AC Milan 8pm

NUFC in the Champions League:

1997/98 Croatia Zagreb (h) won 2-1
1997/98 Croatia Zagreb (a) drew 2-2
1997/98 Barcelona (h) won 3-2
1997/98 Dynamo Kiev (a) drew 2-2
1997/98 PSV (a) lost 0-1
1997/98 PSV (h) lost 0-2
1997/98 Barcelona (a) lost 0-1
1997/98 Dynamo Kiev (h) won 2-0
2002/03 Zeljeznicar (a) won 1-0
2002/03 Zeljeznicar (h) won 4-0
2002/03 Dynamo Kiev (a) lost 0-2
2002/03 Feyenoord (h) lost 0-1
2002/03 Juventus (a) lost 0-2
2002/03 Juventus (h) won 1-0
2002/03 Dynamo Kiev (h) won 2-1
2002/03 Feyenoord (a) won 3-2
2002/03 Inter Milan (h) lost 1-4
2002/03 Barcelona (a) lost 1-3
2002/03 Bayer Leverkusen (a) won 3-1
2002/03 Bayer Leverkusen (h) won 3-1
2002/03 Inter Milan (a) drew 2-2
2002/03 Barcelona (h) lost 0-2
2003/04 Partizan Belgrade (a) won 1-0
2003/04 Partizan Belgrade (h) lost 0-1 (lost on pens)
2023/24
AC Milan (a) drew 0-0

Italian jobs - Magpies in Italy (all competitions):

1969/70 Inter Milan (a) drew 1-1 (FC)
1972/73 AS Roma (a) won 2-0 (AI)
1972/73 Como (a) won 2-0 (AI)
1972/73 Fiorentina (a) won 2-1 (AI)
1992/93 Lucchese (a) drew 1-1 (AI)
1992/93 Bari (a) lost 0-3 (AI)
1999/00 AS Roma (a) lost 0-1 (UE)
2002/03 Juventus (a) lost 0-2 (CL)
2002/03 Inter Milan (a) drew 2-2 (CL)
2006/07 Palermo (a) won 1-0 (UE)
2023/24 AC Milan (a) drew 0-0 (CL)
 

Waffle

 

Two decades on from their most recent Champions League adventure and ten years since the last European away day, Newcastle United made a long-awaited return to UEFA competition on Tuesday.

That 2013 excursion to Lisbon saw fans devise ingenious travel routes and 2023 was no different; a new generation of supporters taking to the skies via a dazzling array of connections after it proved impossible to source charter flights at anything other than inter-galatic prices.   

From Amsterdam to Zadar and all points in between - one enterprising soul routed via Iceland (the country, not the shop) - black and white shirts were visible at airports across Europe, their occupants dreaming of the San Siro and sweating over weather-related delays.

It's all a bit different to working out the best way to Bournemouth, but a nice problem to have.

For European debutant Eddie Howe things also weren't quite as they were in the brochure: opting to stage training on Tyneside the day before the game in preference to the San Siro, but then arriving in Italy less than 24 hours before kick-off due to storms.

Following media interviews for him and Sandro Tonali, the United boss then focused on one of the biggest games of his career - opting to start with the ex-Rossoneri player in one of three changes to the first XI that overcame Brentford. 

Out went Harvey Barnes, Elliot Anderson and Callum Wilson; Anthony Gordon switching back from right to left to accommodate Jacob Murphy and Alexander Isak brought to spearhead the attack.

Led out by birthday boy Kieran Tripper, the massed ranks of Milan ultras in the middle tier of the Curva Sud broke off from incessant whistling as the visiting side was read out to cheer their former favourite. Their chant of "Sandro Tonali, one of us" also prompted a wave of acknowledgement from him.

The game kicked off amid what was to be an almost constant barrage of noise from the home end, amplified drums adding to the din of chanting and clapping, urging on their heroes as they sought to put Sunday's 1-5 hammering at the hands of Inter Milan on this ground behind them.  

A string of opportunities were created and spurned by the hosts; San Siro hero Nick Pope equal to efforts by Tommaso Pobega, Samuel Chukueze and Rade Krunic as United struggled to get out of their own half after some early forays. Isak dropped deeper and deeper in search of possession.

An attack by the visitors just after the half hour ended with Sean Longstaff on the turf and claiming a penalty in vain after a clear but ineffectual shove in the back. Had he had stayed on his feet however, he only had goalkeeper Mike Maignan to beat.

Longstaff's decision looked costly just seconds later when Rafael Leao jinked into the area but attempting a back heel when a straightforward shot seemed certain to break the deadlock. Jacob Murphy's clearance from inside the six yard box as the Milan attack continued was priceless.

Arsenal and Chelsea old boy Olivier Giroud had a few chances to add to his considerable tally against us, but thankfully failed to hit the target while fellow Premier League veteran Ruben Loftus-Cheek should have done better after creating some space but shooting over.

An effort from Murphy that went harmlessly wide at least saw Newcastle register one goal attempt before half time fore heading off the field having profited from their priority of not conceding - an unsurprising stance on an occasion such as this at the home of such illustrious opposition.

The expected changes saw Wilson and Miggy Almiron appear just after the hour and although they didn't truly threaten to get through the Milan lines, the game was at least played slightly further away from Pope - who was appreciably less occupied by then. Dan Burn also had a calmer second period after some terrible touches and misplaced passes in the first half.

Warm applause greeted the withdrawal of Tonali in favour of Elliot Anderson but still that hoped-for break didn't come for the black and whites.

Half-time substitute Alessandro Florenzi crossed for Leao and his header only just cleared the bar as Milan stepped up the pressure in the final 15 minutes - and Newcastle continued stonewalling as best they could, throwing themselves in front of anything and anyone that moved.

Into five minutes of added time and a perfectly-timed tackle on substitute Yunus Musah capped a captain's display by Trippier, clearly enthused at being back in this competition at the age of 33.

Then came the moment that almost propelled this game from an enjoyable return to Europe to an encounter of Feyenoord-like proportions. Into the final seconds, Almiron sped upfield as defenders backed off and found Anderson, who played in Longstaff. 

He managed his side's first and only on-target strike of the game from the edge of the area, but it stayed true in the middle of the goal and was tipped over by sub 'keeper Marco Sportiello. 
 
Any fleeting frustration felt by fans and players as the final whistle sounded before the corner could be taken was rapidly replaced by satisfaction at a job well done and an excellent start to Group F.

A point at the San Siro ultimately failed to prolong our European adventure in 2003, but as we wrote then, we enjoyed leaving a trail of memories and empty beer glasses across Europe. Everyone present will have their own memorable moment from tonight, ours was the mass chorus of "Who's that team they call United" at the finish.

There has to be more to this than one big jolly though; fans can be excused for getting giddy (and bladdered) at the surroundings they find themselves in and the players are entitled to have a tingle when "that music" plays. This was a laudable start but the learning curve will be as steep for the coaches as the squad.

As Alan Pardew discovered a decade ago, progress in Europe is welcome but not at the expense of Premier League form. And while he was tasked with making teams out of the likes of Nile Ranger and Shane Ferguson, the finance available to Howe raises the raises the stakes still further.

It's brilliant to be back though and for every younger attendee getting the chance to sample at first hand what has been handed down to them in war/wor stories, there were familiar faces at every corner: those who kept the faith through the dark times, rewarded for their stoicism. Forza Toon!   

Biffa


Page last updated 09 November, 2023