AC Milan vs Newcastle United summary: score, goals, highlights | UEFA Champions League 23/24
AC Milan vs Newcastle United: as it happened
The second half was more or less the same as the first, with Milan having more of an attacking threat, but Newcastle stood firm and a point at San Siro is most certainly an incredibly positive result for The Magpies.
The best chance of the game came arguably in the first half, when Rafa Leão, a hugely frustrating figure during the match, skipped magnificently past three defenders before trying a ludicrous back-heel effort from a few yards out, falling over instead of thumping the ball in the net.
The saviour of the first half was Pope, who worked miracles to keep the ball out of the net. Chances came and went for Giroud, Chukwueze, Theo and Krunic, but all of them were stopped by divine intervention from the keeper.
After the break, the two teams' energy levels dropped, but Milan's substitutes brought it back to life, with Pulisic and Musah heavily involved. Unfortunately for Milan, they could not find a breakthrough as Newcastle defended well, and Longstaff's close call at the end was almost a huge hammer blow to the Italian side.
Two points dropped for Milan
Pulisic and co will be regretting the fact that they weren't wearing their shooting boots today...
Here's the shot map:
As you can see, a hugely threatening display from Milan who just couldn't find the magic touch to put the ball in the back of the net.
2.58 - 0.22 in the xG totals sums up the game pretty well, as does 25 shots to 5.
My MVP for the game
Popewas superb today and fully deserves all the credit for keeping Newcastle in the game. It could prove to be a crucial point at the end of what is surely going to be a tough group for The Magpies.
No goals at San Siro and the points are shared!
Sportiello gets a hand on the ball and punches out - will we get another corner?
Corner to Newcastle... minute 6 of added time.
Newcastle break and the ball is played to Longstaff in the middle of the box. He hits a ferocious shot that is put over the bar by Sportiello in the last second of the game!
LONGSTAFF ALMOST SCORES FOR NEWCASTLE
Tripper's challenge on Musah, who is breaking dangerously, is sublime and stops the US international from creating a potentially dangerous situation.
Reijnders goes for glory from distance but his shot sails over Pope's head.
5 minutes added time.
Milan have a corner after a long throw from Yunus Musah causes Newcastle's defenders problems.
We're into the final minute of normal time.
Sportiello saves after good work from the Milan defence to push Newcastle's attackers out into the wide areas.
The USMNT captain hit a first-time effort from the right side of the box that was on its way in... until a defender got a crucial touch!
PULISIC SHOT BLOCKED
Newcastle's players are packed into their own box like an overcrowded nest of magpies. Milan are trying to thread needles through the gaps, but it's just not quite working...
Pulisic steals the ball on the right and sprints down the wing until he comes up against Big Burn, who crunches into him, stopping the danger.
Giroud is booked after protesting to señor referee following a high challenge.
Burn gets his head on a free-kick lofted in from halfway, but his effort bounceswide. No need for Sportiello to intervene.
Ten minutes to go, although I suspect we'll see a decent chunk of added time...
Back underway with Pope on the ball.
That was absolutely out of nowhere: the goalkeeper felt something go in his leg and is currently on the floor, awaiting the substitution. He's able to walk off the pitch, but his night is over.
MAIGNAN GOES DOWN.
He's coming off!
Theo Hernández gets on Florenzi's cross at the far post but the shot is wild and is fired into the air.
Rafa Leão loses the ball and decides to trot back at a snail's pace, leaving Tomori on his own against a squirmy Almirón.
Luckily for Milan, Tomori judges the challenge to perfection and swipes the ball away from the winger just before he can find a touch to take it past him and behind the defence.
The two USMNT players did superbly well down the right, with Yunusgiving much-needed energy to the side, bursting forward and playing into Pulisic, whose cross was hacked away by Newcastle at the last second!
NEWCASTLE SURVIVE AGAIN
Florenzi's cross from the right corner of the box was delightful and Leão's header spun just over the bar from close range!
What a huge opportunity!
HUGE CHANCE FOR MILAN OVER THE BAR
A huge cheer and a sing-song directed at Tonali from the Milan fans, who still clearly have a lot of affection for the Serie A winner.
The game has stopped as Ruben Loftus-Cheek is down and can't continue.
Twenty minutes to go...
Theo sees the run from Pulisic but neither player is on the same wavelength as the other and thecross from the defender is collected by Pope, who has been a real miracle worker for his side so far.
Newcastle are now pressing AC Milan very high up the pitch and are forcing the Italian side to work hard to get out of their own half.
I'm going to forcefully jinx this game by saying 'it feels like we're not going to see any goals today'...
Tomori's control is poor and runs out of play but at least he was there to clear the ball away from Isak, who had been played in behind by Trippier.
Reijnders collects the ball in between the lines and turns, facing goal. He drives forward and slides past a defender before seeing his shot saved well by Pope.
BIG SAVE FROM POPE
Almirón & Wilson ON
Gordon & Murphy OFF
Captain America gets his first touches on the ball and sends a cross in from the right, but it's too powerful and flies over the heads of the attackers.
Pulisic & Reijnders ON
Chukwueze & Pobega OFF
Chukwueze looks like he's fighting to keep his place on the pitch, but he's now just over-running everything.
The winger loses the ball and gives Newcastle the chance to counter-attack, but luckily for Pioli's side, Gordon is all on his own.
A fairly nice 5/10-minute spell of pressure here from the home team, but I can't help but think a little more penetration up top would help them out.
I'll just copy + paste the previous Burn message. You know what happened.
Milan immediately get an identical free-kick on the other side of the box after Theo is fouled by Bruno.
Burn, who might actually be a real life giant, heads away the decent cross from Krunic.
Tonali trips Chukwueze on the right side of the box as the Nigerian attacker flies down the wing. This is a great chance for the home side to cross in.
Maignan comes flying out to Superman punch the cross from the right side away from the danger zone as Newcastle caught Milan off guard with a quick attack.
Florenzi drivesinside and receives a fantastic pass through the lines from Krunic. The full-back races forward and, with options to his left to open the play, goes for the shot that whizzes wide.
Murphy goes for the spectacular from distance and it flies high and wide, causing his teammates to look at him and ask: why???
Schär is eventually booked for that high arm on Pobega as they both challenged the ball.
Gordon thinks he's away and ready to turn and face goal, but the referee has pulled the game back for a foul by Schär on Pobega.
A chance for Newcastle comes from a lazy loss of possession by Rafa Leão, who allows the ball to drop to Gordon in his own half. The winger plays inside to Tonali, who sees his shot blocked inside the box.
Florenzi has come on at right-back in a straight swap for Calabria, and his first action in the game is sending a long ball up the line towards Chukwueze, which is cleared by Pope.
And we're off!
AC Milan get us going!
Here come the players!
Let's see what changes we have coming up...
Milan making moves:
Pioli is having a long chat with Pulisic...
Although, it seems that it is Florenzi who is set to come on.
Plenty of Milan players are warming up on the pitch before the second half - might we see Yunus or Pulisic make an appearance?
The scores on the doors
The other early game today is taking place at the Wankdorf Stadium, with Young Boys drawing 1-1 with RB Leipzig.
As for the other Group F game, which is PSG vs Dortmund, that's taking place latertoday when we're all done at San Siro.
You can find all the Champions League scores on the site.
The xG certainly tells the story of what we've seen...
Over a goal of xG for AC Milan, who have had 15 shots to Newcastle's 2.
Let's be honest: Milan deserve to be ahead in this game. They have had plenty of huge chances to score, especially in the first 15-20 minutes and Nick Pope has saved Newcastle United multiple times.
Rafa Leão is the culprit for me: why he didn't choose to shoot like a normal footballer instead of a FIFA Street character I do not know, and I reckon his teammates might have something to say in the San Siro dressing room at the break.
Krunic also tested Pope from distance with a shot that was put over the top by the goalkeeper, who has been excellent.
Giroud has looked slightly frustrated off the ball but he had a huge chance close to half-time to score after Theo's wonderful cross was sent wide from close range.
Newcastle have not really had any clear-cut chances. They thought a penalty might be coming their way after Longstaff went down in the box, but the Spanish referee rightly waved it away.
The question remains: canMilan take advantage of their superiority? Could Pulisic be the man with the golden touch?
We go into the break with no goals so far...
Rafa Leão gets the ball in the middle third and drives forward, sparking the rest of his team into life. Theo receives on the left but fails to put a cross in before the Newcastle defenders scramble back into position, and Howe's side deal with the danger.
It feels like someone has just turned the voltage down on the dodgems: everyone has slowed right down and looks happy to get to half time with things as they are.
Pulisic must be licking his lips at the chances Chukwueze has missed so far...
Señor referee gives Calabria the first card of the game for excessive complaining.
I've just seen that Rafa Leão backheel again: he completely misses the ball and kicks up a lump of grass that hits him on the way down as he falls to the floor. A comedic moment that is incredibly frustrating if you're a Milan fan - what was he thinking?
Trippier gets down the right and sends the ball in towards the penalty spot.
Gordon's driven shot from inside the box is blocked by a Milan defender in what would have been the most hilarious goal this season. It's safe to say The Magpies don't deserve to be ahead...
Milan chance again!
Giroud misses an overhead kick and Chukwueze's header is spooned over the bar... are they going to regret so many missed opportunities?
Fantastic work from Tomori who steals the ball from Gordon on the edge of the box and watches it roll all the way back to Maignan.
It was a great move all round: Milan broke quickly and Leão's run was superb, save for the hilarious - and frankly stupid - decision at the end.
The subsequent goalmouth scramble saw 2 shots blocked from close range and Newcastle eventually survive.
I can't believe that: Theo played in Leão behind perfectly and the forward went on a spectacular run past 3 defenders - but he tried a ludicrous backheel shot just 6 yards out and fell over the ball!
WHAT A MISS FROM RAFA LEÃO!!!
The replays show that Rafa Leão might have made the slightest of contact with Longstaff as he burst in behind, but it's not really anything penalty-worthy.
Milan attack with Theo on the left and he fires in a near-post cross that Giroud really should score, but instead he sends it wide.
GIROUD GOES CLOSE!
Longstaff goes down in the box after a challenge from behind... and the referee says NO FOUL!
Half an hour gone and both teams feel pretty settled both on and off the ball.
Giroud leaves a leg out and trips Trippier, but he says sorry so quickly after the foul that even the ref is fooled by his suave persona and as such he avoids a booking.
The away side have ridden the wave of pressure well and are going through something of a renaissance in the game, controlling the ball and pushing Milan back.
Longstaff makes a Bellingham-esque run into the box but Murphy's pass, the correct decision, was not accurate enough and Maignan gratefully sweeps up.
Trippier races forward and plays to Isak who sends the ball outside to Murphy in a nice move that gets applause from Howe on the touchline. The cross from Murphy flies out for a goal kick.
Newcastle are pressing Milan well after that scary spell and seem to have their Italian opponents under control once again.
Gordon and Isak put a nice one-two together but Thiaw races back to pick up the through ball from the ex-Everton man.
Ruben Loftus-Cheek drives forward from his own half and, with options on either side, flashes a shot over the bar from the edge of the box.
Theo Hernández gets a downward header on the corner: the ball bounces right in front of the goalkeeper and Pope pushes over the bar once again!
MY OH MY! POPE AGAIN!
Chukwueze's cross from the right is headed away and Krunic latches onto the ball, smacking a thunderbolt towards the crossbar which Pope pushes over the bar.
POPE SAVES AGAIN
A late challenge on halfway from Thiaw on Isak sees the defender escape without a yellow card. He's verylucky there, in my opinion.
Newcastle are holding onto the ball in an effort to quieten the Milan fans, who want more attacking fun!
Newcastle are hanging on here: Giroud gets a touch on a low cross and sends a shot towards Pope, which he puts out for a corner.
Rafa Leão goes close from the set-piece at the back post with a skewed shot that ends up being cleared.
Huge chances for Milan: Krunic finds space on the edge of the box and hits a bouncing ball that Pope gets down well to push away.
It's picked up by Rafa who crosses to the far post and Chukwueze's header is stopped at a tight angle.
BIG SAVE FROM POPE
Both sets of fans are making an incredible noise in the early stages of the game, they have not stopped singing...
Gordon twists and turns, slipping past Calabria on the left wing before watching his low cross get cleared by Thiaw.
Ten minutes gone and no real chances so far: Rafa Leão's long-range shot was the best so far, but it never challenged Pope.
Maignan collects a long ball but Murphy, who was making a run in behind, wants a free-kick as he thinks Theo Hernández had a handful of his shirt.
Wow, Theo turns on the style and gets out the secret rockets he's got in his shinpads, setting off on an amazing run inwards, flying up through the middle of the pitch like a untied balloon that escapes from your hand.
Tonali makes a nice run down the left and gets the ball all the way to the byline - but it's just rolled out by the time he gets a foot to it to cross in.
Gasps from the crowd as Newcastle recover the ball in their own half and drive forward in numbers: Trippier's cross from the corner of the box is cleared unconvincingly and the away side continue to push.
The first shot of the game comes from Rafa Leão who cuts inside from the left, shapes to shoot and fires a long-range effort towards Pope, which is central and easily saved.
RafaLeão gets his first chance to sprint as he chases down a misguided header over Newcastle's defence from Giroud.
So far, Newcastle are sitting off their opponents who continue to control the ball.
Calabria's loose touch on the right side almost allows Isak to sneak in and tap the ball away from his boot, but an awkward lunge from the right-back clears the danger and Milan continue with their early possession.
It's a fast start from the away side who launch the ball up the pitch and chase it, pushing AC Milan back.
And we're underway at San Siro!
AC Milan are in their red and white stripes; Newcastle, who get us going, are also in their home kit.
And there is the Champions League anthem!
The famous music rings around the San Siro... Champions League is back!
The players are in the tunnel...
What an atmosphere at San Siro!
The players' names are being read out on the PA system and it seems that the fans have already forgotten about last weekend's defeat!
Tonali returns to San Siro!
The 23-year-old spent 2 seasons at AC Milan, playing 70 times.
He moved to Newcastle from Milan (I have no words either) for a fee believed to be around €70 million.
Fifteen minutes to go!
The players are out on the pitch and are warming up ahead of kick off!
The sun is just setting over Milan, it's 27ºC and about as beautiful an image as one can have in life.
Here's a look at the official UEFA teamsheet:
Pulisic and Musah are on the bench in the surprise calls from Pioli, while Murphy on the right for The Magpies is the player to look out for over there.
A reminder of the starting XIs:
If you've just joined us then welcome along!
Here are the starting XIs so you don't have to fly off your chair as your scroll down and see the surprises:
AC Milan XI:
Calabria - Thiaw - Tomori - Theo Hernández
Loftus-Cheek - Krunic - Pobega
Chukwueze - Giroud - Leão
Newcastle United XI:
Trippier - Schär - Botman - Burn
Bruno Guimarães - Longstaff - Tonali
Murphy - Isak - Gordon
Christian Pulisic's comments to Italian media:
It was love at first sight for me too, especially when I saw the fans. I had never found a passion like this.
The warm-up of the first match at San Siro, as I was walking I raised my head and saw all those fans [was the best moment so far]. Beautiful.
I have played in some of the best stadiums in the world but San Siro is one of the most impressive. I also remember the atmosphere arriving at the stadium as an opponent, against Chelsea. It was incredible.
The culture here is very different than in London, in some things in Italy the pace is slower and I really like this thing that I can have the sun every day.
The Italians… well, they don’t speak English that well but they are very kind, they always help me, they are very friendly. I want to be more open, more extroverted, speak in Italian perhaps. Italy will help me.
Serious faces from the Milan players as they arrive
They'll be looking to put the damning defeat behind them as soon as possible and have the Magpies in their sights.
I don't know about you, but I'm getting more excited by the minute!
A Newcastle fan was assaulted in Milan last night:
A Police spokesperson said:
"A 58-year-old Englishman, a Newcastle fan, was stabbed around midnight by a group of seven or eight people while he and a friend were between via Segantini and via Gola in Milan. He received a stab wound in the back and two in the arms. A police car intervened, and the man was taken to Policlinico hospital, where he is not in serious condition."
If there are any updates to the story we will be sure to let you know...
Newcastle's team news has also surprised us...
The news that Jacob Murphy is starting on the right wing for the first time this season has come as a bit of a shock - especially for those who imagined either Barnes or Almirón would take the role in the XI.
However, my theory is that the second-half impact of Barnes or Almirón in a game that looks set to be very intense and tough could prove to be a sly move from Eddie Howe.
You didn't think that was all, did you?
There's plenty more football on tonight, and we'll have Roddy with us later on for some Barcelona vs Antwerp action in eastern Spain.
Why isn’t Christian Pulisic playing for AC Milan?
The 25-year-old was involved in a chastening 5-1 defeat to local rivals Inter Milan last weekend. Pulisic was substituted early in the second half, with his side two goals down.
He and USMNT teammate Yunus Musah will both be on the bench for Milan’s first Champions League fixture of the season.
Three changes for Stefano Pioli's Milan side:
So, as the whispers in the wind were telling us, all of Pulisic, Reijnders and Kjaer have been dropped from the team in place of Chukwueze, Pobega and Tomori.
Perhaps we'll see the introduction of the USMNT players at some point, as I can't get it out of my head how influential their energy could be.
No Pulisic or Musah in Milan XI:
DEF: Theo - Thiaw - Tomori - Calabria
MID: Krunic - Pobega - Loftus-Cheek
ATT: Chukwueze - Giroud - Rafa Leão
Newcastle team news!
DEF: Trippier - Schär - Botman - Burn
MID: Bruno - Longstaff - Tonali - Murphy - Gordon
Pulisic papped by the Milan socials
The USMNT international was seen working hard in training ahead of the tie against Newcastle.
So far this season, Pulisic has put a fantastic set of performances under his belt (apart from the derby), playing in 4 and scoring 2 goals.
He's also played twice for the USMNT this season already, bagging a goal against Uzbekistan. In the other game, against Oman, which the US won 4-0, he was captain.
As you're probably well aware, European men's football is no longer the final frontier for USMNT internationals, who have settled on the continent in their numbers and continue to impact the game in various countries.
Christian Pulisic and Yunus Musah could feature in the Rossoneri's group stage opener today, although rumours have indeed been circulating that the winger is set to miss out in favour of Samu Chukwueze.
It remains to be seen whether or not Stefano Pioli will opt for the American or the Nigerian from the off, but I'm sure we'll see Captain America at some point during the game.
As for Musah, the same situation applies. He featured in the derby loss and could make way for a different midfielder in an effort by the manager to shake things up in the centre of the field.
For what it's worth, I could see Yunus' energy being crucial in the centre of the pitch today as Newcastle will certainly ben fired up for their first Champions League game since 2002!
Who's the ref?
José María Sánchez Martínez is the man with four names who has the honour of blowing the whistle for today's tie and certainly falls into the category of 'I recognise his face'.
The Spaniard has been a LaLiga referee since 2015 and has taken charge of games all across the continent. So far this season, he's given out 9 yellow cards in 3 games.
AC Milan pre-game comments:
It hasn't been easy, we had a great deal of expectation surrounding the derby, there was a lot of positivity and confidence, and it went how it went, badly.
I'm in debt to the fans because last season when we played really badly they always got behind us.
[The loss to Inter] was a huge disappointment but now we have the Champions League, thankfully, because it's the only way we can try and switch our focus.
Newcastle are a very strong team, with legs up front and physicality at the back.
[Rafa Leão] has improved a lot since I arrived here. He is very important for us and it showed in the Champions League last year. He can still improve, he can become one of the big stars.
So, where exactly is this game being held?
Is it the San Siro or the Stadio Guiseppe Meazza?
Does it matter that today is a Tuesday?
A Champions League game?
That there is a waxing crescent moon in Milan tonight?
Here's all the information on the stadium, and why the two teams who share it haven't decided that they're better off going their separate ways.
So, as I was saying about the Group of Thunder...
It might turn out to be a blessing in disguise for Newcastle to be drawn against PSG, Dortmund and AC Milan... right?
Well, maybe not, but at least they've got a tiny bit of UCL history on their side.
We don't have any team news just yet, but we'll get to the rumours that have been circulating shortly. For now, here's all the information you could possibly need on just how to watch the game tonight.
Who else is in Group F?
If you don't know the answer to the question above, make sure you're sitting down comfortably and your feet are firmly on the floor...
AC Milan and Newcastle share a group with Borussia Dortmund and PSG, in what might be the ultimate, ultimate group of fire, death and darkness.
That's right, Kylian Mbappé is soon set to go up against Christian Pulisic, who will also face his old team (Dortmund) in what might be the most intriguing first round of games in recent memory.
Team news: AC Milan
As for Pioli's side, Bennacer is still on the mend after undergoing knee surgery after the first leg of last season's semi-final.
Pierre Kalulu is still recovering from a thigh injury and won't be fit to play.
Giroud is the only doubt: he made it through the majority of the previous game but we're unsure if he'll be ready to start.
Team news: Newcastle
Let's start off with the away side...
Joelinton will not be fit to play after sustaining a knee injury on international duty.
Tonali, who made the bench in Newcastle's last game, should bit fit to make his return to his old team.
Joe Willock and defender Emil Krafth are also out of action with injuries.
Hello, hello! This is the ASUSA live coverage of the UEFA Champions League which is finally back after an eternal wait, and what a treat we've got in store:
In the opening game of Group F we have... AC Milan vs Newcastle United!
It's Joe here to bring you all the latest updates ahead of kick-off including team news, pre-game stats and plenty of yummy football goodness.