AC Milan did what they had to do by beating Newcastle United at St. James’ Park but it was not enough in the end to get through to the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Calciomercato.com writes that Milan beat Newcastle with a great second half, overcoming the English side who suddenly collapsed, thus entering the Europa League as third in the group and finishing above their hosts.
The objective now is to try and get as far as possible in the Europa League, because a comeback in the Scudetto race seems out of reach at the moment. It might not be as glamorous as the Champions League, but it is at least it’s a way to emerge with heads held high.
It’s the fault of too many missed opportunities before the last game, even more so in a tough group, and that is why Stefano Pioli’s men will feel some regret about the way things went.
The Newcastle goal was emblematic of Milan’s issues too, with midfielders out of position, Ruben Loftus-Cheek losing Gordon, Tijjani Reijnders not following Joelinton and no one reacting.
Milan often moved the the two full-back inside to look for density, but they ended up leaving the flanks unprotected, especially the side of Alessandro Florenzi. Even before the lead, only an intervention by Fikayo Tomori stopped it being 2-0.
The midfield trio, who cost around €60m in the summer, were once again light years away from the Scudetto winner. The victory cannot change all judgments or erase the first half, but Christian Pulisic’s equaliser and Samuel Chukwueze’s winner gave Milan only their second win in England.