AC Milan and Newcastle played a scoreless draw on Tuesday in Italy. The match marked the Magpies’ first Champions League game in 20 years. It also kept Milan’s streak alive of not being able to beat an English team in the group stage of the competition. The teams will face tough tests against Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund in Group F of the tournament.
The pressure was firmly on the hosts after Milan was thumped 5-1 by rivals Inter at the weekend. As a result of the recent loss, manager Stefano Pioli made three changes to his starting lineup for Tuesday’s matchup. USMNT star Christian Pulisic was one of the players to lose his place in the squad. The American began the game on the bench.
Hosts dominate early stages of game, but can’t find goal
Milan started the match on the front foot. The Serie A giants recorded nine total shots inside the opening 20 minutes of the game. However, Newcastle goalkeeper, Nick Pope, was able to keep the game scoreless during this period. The England international made a series of saves, including solid chances by Samuel Chukwueze, Olivier Giroud, and Theo Hernandez.
The Italians then perhaps should have gone ahead in the 34th minute when Rafael Leao made a mazy run into the Newcastle box. After passing up multiple shot opportunities, the winger stumbled to the ground untouched. Tommaso Pobega then subsequently had a shot cleared off of the line moments later. The match eventually went to the halftime break goalless. Milan had 14 total shot attempts in the opening half, while the visitors had just two.
Newcastle responds to Milan start, but game ends in scoreless draw
Newcastle seemed to settle down a bit in the early stages of the second half. The Magpies recorded as many shots in the first 10 minutes of the latter period as they did during the entire first half. Nevertheless, neither side could manage to test the goalkeepers effectively.
USMNT duo Yunus Musah and Pulisic both then entered the fray for Milan as second-half substitutes. While the Americans played fairly well during the late stages of the matchup, the game finished goalless on the night. Milan will next face Verona at the weekend. Newcastle, on the other hand, travels to play Sheffield United on Sunday.
PHOTO: IMAGO / LaPresse
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