Milan and Newcastle Play to Goalless Draw in Champions League Opener

Milan and Newcastle played out a 0-0 draw in the opening match of Group F in the 2023-2024 Champions League on September 19. The Rossoneri, led by coach Pioli, had a somewhat disappointing start to their campaign at home. In the other group fixture, PSG hosted Borussia Dortmund later in the evening. Milan’s next match in the competition will see them face the Germans on October 4.

The match unfolded as follows:

Newcastle launched an early attack from the kick-off, but Milan managed to maintain control of the ball. In the 4th minute, Milan had their first chance when Leao’s shot lacked power. Giroud proved more threatening in the 14th minute when his deflected attempt was handled expertly by Pope, saving the Magpies from conceding a goal. The Rossoneri continued to apply pressure, and Pope was called into action again in the 19th minute. A corner from Krunic was met with a header from Theo Hernandez, which the goalkeeper deflected. Newcastle struggled to regain possession and create opportunities, with Maignan rarely tested in the first half-hour.

The match played out with a single-minded focus, and Milan had another opportunity in the 32nd minute as Giroud attempted a close-range deflection but missed the target. Milan kept up the pressure, and in the 34th minute, Pobega made an attempt that seemed destined for the net, only to be blocked by a defender on the goal line. At the end of the first half, the home team came tantalizingly close to breaking the deadlock, but the score remained 0-0.

Newcastle sought to make their mark early in the second half, with Murphy taking a shot in the 49th minute that warranted review. Compared to the first half, the match became more balanced. Milan struggled to create scoring opportunities as the visitors effectively closed down spaces and defended resolutely, even on set pieces.

The monotony of the game was briefly interrupted in the 74th minute when Florenzi provided Leao with an opportunity, but his diving header missed the target. In the closing stages of the match, Milan faced a setback as Maignan was forced to leave the field due to a muscle injury, with Sportiello taking his place in goal. Milan, lacking creativity, attempted a late siege but failed to produce significant threats. Pope’s goal remained unscathed, and the match concluded in a goalless draw.

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