September 19, (THEWILL) – On their first UEFA Champions League appearance in two decades, Newcastle United secured a valuable point away at AC Milan on Tuesday night.
The 0-0 draw at the San Siro mirrored the Magpies’ last European away day back in 2003, when they also drew away to Inter Milan. They had goalkeeper, Nick Pope, to thank for preserving the clean sheet, as he made several fine saves to deny a wasteful Milan side. The Italians created numerous chances including through Samuel Chukwueze, but were unable to find a breakthrough.
Newcastle grew into the game after the break and restricted Milan’s opportunities. Milan’s profligacy in front of goal was epitomised by forward, Rafael Leao, who squandered several gilt-edged chances. The Portuguese youngster failed to even test Pope when played through on goal in the first half. Leao was Milan’s most likely source of a winner, but he was unable to find his finishing touch.
At the other end, Newcastle failed to register a shot on target until injury time, when substitute, Sean Longstaff, drew a save from the fingertips of Milan keeper, Marco Sportiello. With games against Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund to come, Newcastle will be satisfied to escape Milan with a point.
The result leaves both teams on a single point after the first round of Group F fixtures. Attention now turns back to domestic duties, with AC Milan facing Hellas Verona in Serie A at the weekend and Newcastle travelling to Sheffield United in the English Premier League.