AC Milan 0-0 Newcastle: Rossoneri frustrated after dominant performance

By Oliver Fisher -

AC Milan were frustrated by Newcastle United in their opening game of the 2023-24 Champions League group stages, drawing 0-0.

There is no doubting that Milan had the better of the chances over the 90 minutes, with the main moment being a Tommaso Pobega shot from a clearance that was desperately cleared off the line.

Nick Pope was undoubtedly the busier of the two goalkeepers as he made a number of reaction saves to keep his team in it, yet Milan just could not find a way through the visitors.

The result keeps the group very much in the balance while waiting for the result of the game between Paris Saint-Germain and Borussia Dortmund, but Mike Maignan went off late on with a muscle problem that will cause some concern.

Stefano Pioli made three alterations to the team that lost the derby on Saturday as Fikayo Tomori came back into the defence for Simon Kjaer, Tommaso Pobega took Tijjani Reijnders’ spot in midfield and Samuel Chukwueze got the nod on the right of the front three over Christian Pulisic.

Milan started the game brightly as they controlled the majority of the possession early on, and Rafael Leao called Pope into action for the first time with a shot from about 20 yards that ended up being a comfortable save.

Milan had two very good chances to take the lead in the 13th minute and they came from Newcastle giving the ball away deep in their own territory. Pobega managed to stride into a shot from 25 yards that Pope could only parry to the side, then the cross from the left flank met Chukwueze’s head at the far post and Pope again saved.

The chances kept coming for the Rossoneri as a cross from Calabria fell to Giroud at the near post who managed to stab an effort goalwards that Pope was again equal to, and from the resulting corner a near-post flick-on just evaded Leao at the far post.

After Pobega’s strike from distance previously it was Rade Krunic’s turn to try his luck first time from distance, though his rising attempt was again palmed over. The corner that followed was met by Theo Hernandez’s unmarked header, and Pope made yet another smart reaction stop to keep it out.

Just after Longstaff had taken a tumble in one box, Milan had another golden chance at the other and it fell to Giroud. Leao released Theo down the left side who picked out his compatriot with a low ball that was flicked first time into the side netting.

The major opportunities continued to be one-way traffic, and Leao might have been guilty of some over-confidence inside the box. He broke into the area and kept dribbling and dribbling past defenders, but he tried a back-heel flick and ended up falling over. Pobega’s follow-up effort was then cleared off the line by Burn.

Deep crosses continued to cause problems for Newcastle, with Chukwueze sending one over to Leao who diverted it back across goal and Giroud was bundled over before the Nigerian himself headed over. The offside flag was up, but any goal would have stood.

Pioli decided to make a change at half-time after Calabria was booked late in the first 45 minutes for showing dissent to the referee, so Alessandro Florenzi came on to take his place.

Florenzi had Milan’s first glimpse at goal in the second half as he received a line-splitting pass and had the choice of a couple of through-balls to put a team-mate through on goal, yet he went for a shot on his weaker left foot and dragged it wide.

Both managers elected to make changes just after the hour mark as Tijjani Reijnders and Christian Pulisic came on for Pobega and Chukwueze. Howe brought Gordon and Murphy off, with Almiron and Wilson going on.

Reijnders almost made an immediate impact with a weaving run into a dangerous position inside the box, but rather than going for power he scooped a side-footed effort that Pope managed to gather easily.

Loftus-Cheek went down in some pain after beating Tonali and crossing from the byline and though he said it was just cramp, Pioli decided not to risk him and brought on Yunus Musah.

Florenzi nearly created a beautiful goal with 17 minutes left on the clock when his whipped cross from the right side met the run of Leao perfectly, though the Portuguese winger glanced his header onto the roof of the net.

Musah’s dynamism caused problems, and he got past his man with a lovely dribble before a flick from Giroud to Theo ended with Newcastle making a heroic block.

There was a very worrying moment with 10 minutes left on the clock as Maignan dropped to the ground with what looked like a muscle problem, forcing Marco Sportiello to come on for the closing stages.

The closing stages of the game were best characterised by Milan getting into the box and players either leaving it to each other or failing to connect with the deliveries that came in as the frustration of the home fans grew.

Giroud took the ball 40 yards with two minutes left on the clock and with runners either side he chose to shoot from outside the box, straight at Pope.

Newcastle finally had a shot on goal in added time as Longstaff took aim from distance, but Sportiello did well to fingertip it over the bar.

Tags AC Milan Milan Newcastle


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  1. What a frustrating match.
    It was an eyesore performance from Leao and Giroud.

    Pioli had no reason taking off chukweze.
    Tijjani should have started.

    I’m highly disappointed and angry

      1. its not about admins not liking your comments but propably more of use of certain words as it always is with moderation of blogs or websites so a good advice is to stray away from vulgar language or racismn or sexismn or something in the line of it. obviously comments might get removed afterwards but to læimit the chances of comments automatically getting removed or retro actively then my advice isnt to bad.

        1. Nope. On this kind of pages you rarely see offensive language from anyone since everyone supports the same team. Sure arguments can happen and i have seen it here too. But in general people are respectful to each other. However they remove comments just cause they dont like them. As reported by many people on this site. Thats why i usualy prefer rossoneriblog for commenting and discussions related to Ac Milan.

          1. i ran goal.doms moderation for several years so i have a pretty well knowledge of that sort of thing and i rather diagree with you on the respect matter. rossononeriblog had huge issues as well.

          2. Rossoneriblog never deleted comments, and still out of so many you can hand pick comments where someone has used vulgar language. As i said sure people can argue on this sites, but using vulgar language has never been a big problem. Since as Milanistas people still treat eachother with certain dose of respect. Here they delete comments whenever they feel like it, nothing to do with offensive language. Confirmed by many people.

          3. you do understand that certain words can end up in moderation ? have you ever been a moderator on a big site with maybe 1000s of comments a day im just saying thats how it bascally works, personally perople can speak as they want and i dont care about swearing myself. sometimes comments gets removed mine as well but thats moderating so nothing unusual there, You will never read a great bunch of comments on each web site you visits but unless you have been a mod uou wouldnt know.

  2. Well that’s what you get after heavy defeat on derby. It messed up the momentum. It’s not like players can play a reset button right after. Moreover it’s only few days away to this match. A perfect example would be Leao well his head was both somewhere else and all over the place.

    On the positive note, Fik was flawless today. Lots lots calmer. Hope that he learned a thing or two with the previous red card. Yunus was a revelation today.

    And I saw there’s no inverted wing back BS again today and that’s a good thing. We look more natural playing with traditional side back role.

  3. I don’t know what to say, cheap chances and the one that were good we’re destroyed by the players.

    So much possession and yet nothing.

    To be honest I think we need a manager with new ideas. Because it seems like we don’t do very well against over average teams.

    What do you think?

  4. Leao when will you decide to play? Abysmal performance by him. That game is going to bite us in the ass. Way too many opportunities missed and that’s exactly why we need a striker who can make a goal out of nothing. Tomori was man of the match and the rest did fine but we can’t score for the life of us. What a horrible result that is. Maignan with these injuries is seriously starting to irritate me. He’s standing there and gets injured.

  5. One way man! No plan b just one way traffic! We should forget bearing Newcastle at saint James park, while PSG home and away is a forgotten match already….our only hope is to get some useful point at sansiro because at the signal iduna park, we are just gonna be roasted! When I was saying during preseason that this man has nothing to offer us .. I was deemed a pessimist! Good luck

    1. All our chances came from complete chaos. Mistakes made by Newcastle. How often did we see something that looked like organization or something tactical?

      We had a lot of chances created, and came close to winning, but not from something practiced.

      Pioli hopes his players can pull off individual brilliance which hides major flaws.

      My other team is Arsenal. Watch them play and you’ll see how a good manager coaches.

      We needed 3 points out of this winnable home game. We got 1.

    2. Game prep from pioli was good thisntime around. However, leao and giroud should have been replaced. We have depth now. Chuk was doing well, no reason to take him off. Giroud is 37 years old played every game so far, full match with club and country. Plus players like okafor might do well in though tight areas. Newcastle parked the bus. Again, pioli gotta utilize his bench more, otherwise we’ll loose that bench. They will all become like adili. Play once in 4 months for 15 mins and expect miracles from them.

  6. How much longer of this bald idiot? Please fire this buffoon and get a real coach. We can’t beat Newcastle at home what are we going to do away at PSG and Dortmund?

  7. Leao is either lazy or Pioli is telling him to drop off.l. In the first half Newcastle could literally walk the ball to about 30 yards from our goal. There was no press apart from Giroud who is 37. We need more from Leao, he’s meant to be out talisman and there’s often no end product.

    Pioli’s decision to bring Pobega in was just negative. We get smashed for 5 v inter so put another defensive player in… over 25 shots and not really more than 2 real chances to score. I think we should start Okafor as a false 9, out attack is static and predictable.

    Florenzi had a good game, Tomori also.

    Just a reminder to the fan boys who claimed that this years midfield was better than last years…our starting champions league midfield was Pobega and Krunic…!! Where were they in 2021? On loans and a 4th choice back up utility man…

    1. But Krunic had a good game. Musah and Reijnders were also very good when they came on, especially Musah. The problem is Pioli who started Pobega over Reijnders. Jovic would have done better than Giroud imo, and he subbed off Chuk who was far better than Leao in the first half.

      1. 100% he only knows one way. He is afraid to sub off those who have delivered before. Leao looks lazy. I think he’s 100% going next year, I’d take 50m and Grealish right now. Grealish knows how to press and defend.

        Leao wanted the no10 to be like Gullit…not on the same level

  8. He is the director of play, he gave them instructions and if it’s not working change it, that’s what t separates klopp, Guardiola and Simeone inzaghi from pioli…what a failure .the question I will love to ask was? What impact did Giroud had and pobega that made you start them initially? Seeing leao is becoming wasteful introduce okadpr or pulisic in his stead….so what were the aftermath impact of keeping Reijdeea on then bench? So many questions…. the management will soon understand who is fake between pioli and Maldini…

    1. He had to make changes mate as he got spanked 5-1 so all he could come up with was bring in another defensive player at home…Newcastle were always coming to defend and they played well. He can’t break teams down

      I can’t wait for his press conference when he justifies and praises his own mediocrity

  9. The effect of the heavy derby loss is weighing down heavily on the players. Pioli needs to figure out how to get players back on track or else we are in for another poor run of form like in January.

  10. Full of moaning on here, where’s the positivity? We played well overall and struggled for the breakthrough – will come as the players gel.

    Hernandez was excellent overall, Florenzi was surprisingly solid, Pobega and Chukwueze didn’t look out of place as starters, Tomori showed his values well. Sportiello made a great save at the end.

    It’s disappointing not to get the result but on another day we get a sight of goal and take it, Newcastle’s blocking lines were very good and so was their defensive discipline, many teams would have conceded a couple of penalties or dangerous free kicks and they held their nerve.

    The prospect of losing Maignan is very scary though, that’s the big negative to me – fingers crossed.

    1. “It’s disappointing not to get the result but on another day we get a sight of goal and take it, Newcastle’s blocking lines were very good and so was their defensive discipline, many teams would have conceded a couple of penalties or dangerous free kicks and they held their nerve.”

      But that’s kind of the point isn’t it? We never seem to be able to break defensive/organized teams down. Of course, there will be matches where we won’t, but not every time. Five derby losses in a row, outscored 1-12. What was the excuse against Salernitana, Udinese, Empoli, Bologna, Cremonese Roma and Spezia last season? Many games that we “dominated” and failed to find the winning goal. Also note that 4/7 of these clubs used 3-5-2/3-4-1-2, like Inter. No more excuses. I want results in winnable games, or find me a coach than get those results.

  11. I’ve never seen a GK injured with such regularity. It’s plain to see he is I jury prone and a liability. Talent and ability matters little if you’re on the sidelines. Milan should take the first serious offer for him next summer.

    1. It’s why we should have sold Maignan, not Tonali. This is the Furlani/Moncada error. It will get more expensive as Maignan’s value drops. The silver lining is that his salary demand ought to be dropping too. And fast.

      1. i thought so too in the early summer dont get me wrong i love maignan and considers him in top 3 of goal keepers but this is geting ridiculous and i tend to agree as you mention in a combination of his demands and his continuing injuries, a shame though as he is a top notch keeper and maybe even the best keeoer while ive suported milan even if ross will always be my favourite,

        1. Even donnarumma are rare from getting injury. This maignan 3 season in row keep getting injury , but this season only flexor. Lucky we have sportielo already not tata anymore. Maignan are one from top 3 best GK in europe but still if injury prone , that would be waste of talent. I agree with vero , ACM should sell maignan to MU with same price with onana ( before MU decide buy Onana ,they want to buy maignan first but ACM refuse to sell him) instead selling tonali.

  12. Hmmm

    I saw Pobega take the best shot of the game for us. He was a solid stopper and physical.

    Krunic again played well in front of the defense.

    Tomori played well and clearly impacted Thiaw’s quality too.

    Chuk show me for the first time this season that he can play, but that he has a bit to go. Hope to see him get more minutes in the next few games.

    Will be nice to see Okafur get a chance against HV this weekend I hope.

    Tactically we adjusted. I didn’t see much inverting but did still see some nice aggression. So Pioli did adapt. He cannot put the ball in the net for the players, but he does seem to have set them up so they could generate those chances.

    TBH Newcastle looked like a mid table Serie A team to my eyes. So coming out with a draw is concerning. While we dominated shots it seemed pretty helter skelter. So hoping to see much more clinical build up and shots this weekend.

    Bummer for a draw, but puzzled by all the vitriole here. We are 3-1-1 playing against 2 CL teams and EL team and a solid Bologna side.

  13. pioli suck, milan will be a medioker team under medioker coach, wake up !!!

    i wonder why milan still considering pioli, we have pretty good player this season…. but as long pioli on the pitch, it will be the same like years before…

    the scudetto ??? it was very very very lucky, not because pioli

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