Football News

Newcastle 1-2 Milan: Player ratings as Magpies bow out from Europe

By Mohamed Moallim

Published: 22:00, 13 December 2023

Newcastle and Milan were both looking to reach the Champions League round of 16 as Group F runners-up.

However, both needed Paris Saint-Germain to slip up in Dortmund, for the Magpies a draw there would have been enough if they won tonight’s game. The seven-time European champions though required a PSG loss coupled with their victory.

Both teams came into this showdown in less-than-stellar form but fireworks were expected given the rewards at stake. Joelinton put the hosts in front through a stunning effort before Milan turned it around following the break. Christian Pulisic equalised before Samuel Chukwueze came off the bench to win it.

PSG’s draw in Germany means Milan move into the Europa League while Newcastle will no longer be active in Europe this season.

As the dust begins to settle, here’s how the players rated at St. James’ Park:

Newcastle

Martin Dúbravka – 5.5 – Passed a late fitness examination to retain his place and make his first Champions League start in 13 years but could not celebrate the occasion with a clean sheet.

Tino Livramento – 6 – Has performed remarkably well in Dan Burn’s absence. One notable moment was facing Leao one-on-one with his mere presence forcing the Portuguese forward to overrun the ball.

Fabian Schär – 5.5 – Produced a speculative effort from range. Unluckily kept Leao onside in the build-up to Milan’s leveller. 

Jamaal Lascelles – 6 – Initially dealt with Milan’s threat well before Pulisic’s equaliser. 

Kieran Trippier – 6.5 – No one created more chances (3) or touches (56) than Trippier while he was on the pitch.

Joelinton – 7 – His first UCL goal since October 2018 (for Hoffenheim against Lyon) was a stunner in every sense of the word.

Bruno Guimarães – 6.5 – Smacked a powerful effort from the edge of the box only for Maignan to flick the ball onto the crossbar and away.

Lewis Miley – 6 – Became the youngest player in Champions League history to assist a goal for an English club (17 years, 226 days), breaking Theo Walcott’s record from November 2006 for Arsenal (17 years, 250 days).

Anthony Gordon – 6.5 – Up for it from the start. After blocking a Calabria clearance in the second minute he roared at the crowd – who responded in kind. Never stopped running.

Callum Wilson – 5 – Came in for Alexander Isak who started on the bench. Never had that one real opportunity to breach Milan’s goal.

Miguel Almirón – 5 – He really should have put Newcastle ahead in the 20th minute. With an empty net in front of him, Almiron expected to poke the ball in, but Tomori had other ideas. “If he takes it with his right he taps it in, but he waits and it’s an unbelievable clearance from Tomori, who comes from nowhere,” Paul Merson said on Soccer Special.

Substitutes:

Dan Burn (for Trippier 63) – 5 – Made a crucial bloke late on.

Alexander Isak (for Gordon 63) – 5.5 – Had a shot go over the bar minutes after coming on.

Sean Longstaff (for Miley 71) – 5 – A welcome presence back in Newcastle’s midfield.


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Milan

Mike Maignan – 8 – Simply had no chance against Joelinton who smashed his effort into the top corner from just inside the box. He somewhat made amends to deny Guimarães which came after he went into the referee’s book for dissent.

Alessandro Florenzi – 7.5 – Picked up a late yellow card. No one in a Milan jersey attempted more passes (48), into the final third (9) or touches (77).

Théo Hernández – 7 – An injury crisis in defence meant the nominally marauding left-back Hernandez was forced into emergency action at centre-back.

Fikayo Tomori – 7.5 – Pulled off an outstanding tackle as Almiron had a tap-in from yards out.

Davide Calabria – 6.5 – Won eight of nine attempted duels while retaining possession five times.

Yunus Musah – 5 – You can’t question the American’s work-rate. He seemingly was everywhere though erratic at times.

Tijjani Reijnders – 6 – Fortune to not go in the book for a late tackle on Livramento. 

Rafael Leão – 7 – Back in Milan’s starting lineup after being out for several weeks with a hamstring problem. The visitor’s most dangerous outlet and had a couple of runs at Newcastle’s backline though should have scored when an effort hit the post.

Ruben Loftus-Cheek – 6 – Struggled to impose himself on this game from a proactive sense. Just one shot on target but the former Chelsea man won nine of his 10 attempted duels.

Christian Pulisic – 7 – Ended a run of 12 appearances in this competition without a goal, scoring for the first time since March 2022 for Chelsea vs Lille.

Olivier Giroud – 6.5 – Classly assist for Milan’s equaliser. Giroud has now been involved in 11 goals against Newcastle (nine goals and two assists), his joint-most against an English club in all competitions in his career (also 11 vs Aston Villa).

Substitutes:

Tommaso Pobega (for Loftus-Cheek 72) – 4 – Barely saw the ball while out there.

Luka Jovic (for Pulisic 72) – 5.5 – Involved in the counter-attack which led to Milan’s winner.

Noah Okafor (for Giroud 83) – 6 – Immediate impact would be an understatement. He played the crucial pass for Chukwueze’s goal.

Samuel Chukwueze (for Musah 83) – 6 – Super-sub! Brilliant finish just 52 seconds after coming on as a substitute with his first touch of the ball as well.

Davide Bartesaghi (for Leão 88) – N/A – A late sub.

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