Milan and Newcastle United shared the spoils in a dull 0-0 draw at San Siro in the opening 2023/24 Champions League Group F encounter. Despite outperforming their visitors, Rossoneri had to settle for a gut-wrenching point due to their lackluster finishing.
Seeking redemption after a 5-1 mauling at the hands of Inter last weekend, Milan came flying out of the traps. Stefano Pioli’s side utterly outclassed Newcastle but couldn’t find a way past Nick Pope in the opening 45 minutes despite attempting 14 shots.
Profligacy in front of goal saw Milan waste countless presentable scoring chances before halftime. They found the chances hard to come by in the second half as Newcastle grew into the contest. Despite conceding just one shot on target, the Italians cannot be happy with the result
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.
Alessandro Florenzi – 6
He took Calabria’s place at the start of the second half and showed more attacking ambition. But his decision-making could’ve been better.
Christian Pulisic – 5
It wasn’t his most impressive night.
Tijjani Reijnders – 7
The Dutchman did more offensively with his first touch of the ball than Pobega in the opening half an hour of play. He was unlucky not to score after breezing past a few Newcastle players.
Yunus Musah – 7
The USMNT midfielder was a breath of fresh air since coming on, and Pioli may want to consider including him in the starting lineup in the next game.
Marco Sportiello – 7
Made a stunning late save to salvage a point for Milan
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