AC Milan 0 – 0 Newcastle: Player Ratings as Newcastle earn point in Milan Goalless draw

Newcastle vs ac milan ucl 2023

Newcastle United have goalkeeper Nick Pope to thank for earning a respectable point in their opening game at the San Siro.

Playing in their first UEFA Champions League game since 2003, the Magpies saw their goal humbled but ultimately unscathed by a wasteful Milan side.

Pope made seven saves in the first half alone, most notably stopping Tommaso Pobega’s long-range effort before denying Olivier Giroud at his near post.

Rafael Leāo then showed an example of his quality after dancing through four Newcastle defenders, but the Portuguese then appeared to hesitate with a gaping goal before going down and chances dwindling.

Eddie Howe’s side protected Pope’s second-half goal much better without threatening the other end and will be pleased to leave Italy unbeaten.

Leāo also spurned the best chance of the second half, heading wide from eight yards after being picked out by Alessandro Florenzi’s cross before Sean Longstaff almost sealed the winner in the 95th minute but his effort was saved by substitute goalkeeper Marco Sportiello.

Last year’s semi-finalists will regret their many missed chances.

Newcastle Player Ratings

Nick Pope (8/10):

Newcastle owe their point to him! Pulled off a few excellent saves as the shots came flying at him throughout.

Kieran Trippier (6/10):

His set-pieces were woeful but the right-back was solid on the ball otherwise.

Fabian Schar (5/10):

Was comfortable on the ball and made a vital interception late on.

Sven Botman (4/10):

Lost the physical battles with Olivier Giroud early on and his marking and tackling were terrible.

Dan Burn (7/10):

Was under pressure as Samuel Chukwueze kept coming at him but dug in with a lot of tackles.

Sean Longstaff (7/10):

Grew into the game after a rough start. Covered a lot of ground and made a few good tackles. Got Newcastle’s only shot on target.

Bruno Guimaraes (5/10):

Couldn’t influence the game as he was denied time on the ball because of Milan’s marking.

Sandro Tonali (4/10):

Rather useless in possession as he failed to pose a threat to his former team and gave away too many fouls.

Jacob Murphy (6/10):

Had two wasted shots from distance and made some good passes.

Alexander Isak (5/10):

Dropped back to receive the ball a lot but couldn’t get any dangerous attacks going.

Anthony Gordon (6/10):

Had a couple of bright moments but had a hard time linking up with team-mates with a lot of wayward passes.

Milan Player Ratings

Mike Maignan – 6

The star goalkeeper was a near-anonymous figure tonight, as Newcastle couldn’t create anything meaningful up top. It’s unfathomable how he picked up an injury late in the game. 

Davide Calabria – 6

Despite delivering another decent defensive performance, the Milan captain could hide his frustration one too many times, eventually earning a cheap yellow card. Pioli had to withdraw him at halftime to avoid further complications. 

Malick Thiaw – 7

After an abysmal showing in a 5-1 demolition to Inter, the German center-back regained his composure and looked far more comfortable playing alongside Fikayo Tomori than he was next to Simon Kjaer last weekend.

Fikayo Tomori – 7.5

Milan desperately missed the Englishman’s imposing defensive presence against Inter, as evidenced by a rock-solid defensive display tonight. He makes his fellow colleagues at the back look better. 

Theo Hernandez – 7

The Frenchman yet again lived up to his stellar reputation, proving why many consider him among the best left-backs in the world. Kieran Trippier couldn’t cope with his blistering pace and continuous runs down the flank.

Rade Krunic – 7.5

He might be the least attractive name in the Milan squad, but the Bosnian has become essential to Pioli’s setup. He barely put his foot wrong in the middle of the park, while his setpiece deliveries created a lot of problems for Newcastle. 

Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 7

The former Chelsea ace fought tooth and nail to help his side gain a foothold in the game and did it brilliantly. Despite committing numerous fouls, his energy and determination secured the home side’s supremacy in the midfield.

Tommaso Pobega – 6.5

Pioli unexpectedly gave him a chance to start ahead of Tijjani Reijnders, and the Italian repaid the gaffer’s trust with a spirited performance. Despite failing to produce much in the front third, his endless work rate saw him win back possession time and time again.

Rafael Leao – 6

All the good things the Portuguese winger did tonight won’t count for much after his audacious attempt to slot home a backheel goal made him look silly when he should’ve scored. His lackadaisical approach in numerous situations backfired on Milan. 

Samuel Chukwueze – 6.5

The Nigerian forward showed glimpses of his potential in the first half but wasted several decent chances to open his Rossoneri account. Nonetheless, he looked far better on the right-hand side than Leao on the opposite flank. 

Olivier Giroud – 6

It wasn’t his best game for Milan by any stretch of the imagination. He should’ve grabbed a goal, especially in the first half, but his finishing surprisingly let him down this evening. 


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