Newcastle 1-2 AC Milan: Late Chukwueze goal seals Europa League spot for Rossoneri

By Euan Burns -

AC Milan beat Newcastle 2-1 at St. James’ Park in the Champions League to secure their place in the Europa League, but the Rossoneri are out of the Champions League. 

In a wonderfully dramatic game, Newcastle took a deserved lead through Joelinton but Milan fought back in the second half through Christian Pulisic and Samuel Chukwueze.

The game began in front of an incredibly noisy St. James’ Park and the home side used that noise to apply plenty of early pressure to the Milan backline.

Whilst the Magpies were not able to create any clear-cut chances in the early exchanges, they had plenty of possession in the final third and Milan had to have their wits about them.

All the Rossoneri could muster in the first 15 minutes was a breakaway involving Olivier Giroud and Rafael Leao that ended with a poor cross from Christian Pulisic.

In the 20th minute, it seemed for all the world that Newcastle had taken the lead. Joelinton burst into the box and pushed the ball towards the goal where Miguel Almiron was waiting to tap into an open net, but Fikayo Tomori wrapped his leg around the Paraguayan and produced an amazing tackle on the goalline. It was a major chance for the home team.

Almiron later had a header from a Joelinton cross that forced a good, but expected save from Maignan. There was plenty of joy for Newcastle going forward, but Milan were able to find some space behind their opponents although sloppy passing let them down.

Milan’s lack of intensity in attack was punished when Newcastle took a deserved lead just after the half-hour mark.

They came forward with purpose, Anthony Gordon drifting through the middle and playing it wide to Tino Livramento. He then gave it to Joelinton on the edge who smashed a superb shot into the top corner, making it 1-0.

The second half began with Newcastle continuing to put pressure on their opponents, but Milan still had a foothold in the game. The news that Borussia Dortmund had gone 1-0 up against Paris Saint-Germain meant that both Newcastle and Milan knew a win would see them through.

In the space of a few minutes around the hour mark, Warren Zaire-Emery scored for PSG in Germany and then Milan grabbed an equaliser of their own in England. The ball was worked wide to Leao who fired it into the box and after a ricochet, the ball broke to Pulisic at the far post and he fired in underneath Martin Dubravka.

The brief VAR check didn’t take the goal away from Milan and suddenly Pioli’s side had something to work with.

Newcastle responded really well to the goal and a shot from Bruno Guimaraes produced a big save from Maignan as he pushed it onto the bar, whilst other great openings were being created by Eddie Howe’s side.

The first changes from Pioli came in the 73rd minute as Pulisic and Loftus-Cheek were withdrawn for Tommaso Pobega and Luka Jovic. That was quickly followed by the very negative news for both teams that PSG had taken the lead against Dortmund through Kylian Mbappe. That goal then got ruled out, so both sides were still alive.

With just over 10 minutes to play, Leao found himself through on goal with only Dubravka to beat, but he only found the post with his low shot. He simply had to score from that position.

Knowing that Milan had to score if they were to have any sort of European football for the rest of the season, Pioli then threw on Noah Okafor and Samuel Chukwueze. They replaced Giroud and Musah.

This proved to be a wonderful double-substitution from the Milan coach as Okafor then stormed through the middle of the pitch, played a one-two with Jovic before then finding Chukwueze in the box who sent a curling shot into the top corner, making it 2-1 to Milan.

With PSG still drawing, Milan could not progress, but the goal meant they would be going into the Europa League.

Newcastle were applying the pressure but Milan broke away through Hernandez but he opted to try and score into an empty net from range when he could have kept the ball for much longer. Another breakaway from Milan led to Tomori firing a shot against the post.

The whistle meant that Milan get into the Europa League, but PSG’s draw in Dortmund means they follow the German side into the last 16 of the Champions League.

Tags AC Milan Christian Pulisic Newcastle Samuel Chukwueze


    1. Do you realise that we have a Chance to qualify for the 2024/25 Champions League by winning the Europa League? With Sevilla being already out, there is a chance!

        1. Villarreal, Betis and Atalanta. Since when do we fear them? Newcastle is much more stronger than all of them, if we can beat Newcastle then why not them?

          Liverpool and Leverkusen, I agree they are formidable foes.

          1. But they are also teams that can beat us (and in case of Atalanta did beat us), so depending on how we turn against them we can get eliminated.

    2. I think Milan will certainly finish in the top 4, but also note that the better Serie A teams do in Europe this season, the more likely it is that Serie A will get a 5th Champions League spot for next season. All three european competitions are weighted equally by UEFA in this calculus, so a good Milan performance in the EL could grant a 5th qualification spot.

      1. Consider how many extra matches and the tiny possibility of success. Better to compete for the title and determine our own fate. A major injury because of the Europa league would be catastrophic. Risk vs Reward.

    3. I presume you haven’t nor are active within sports. Did you expect Milan show up NOT to try go through? What will happen is they will def reinforce in January window. They are through to knock out. It doesn’t mean they will plays 6 games or whatever it is to final. Be happy about the win and stop be so cynical

  1. How on earth Leao, Theo, and Tomori could missed that chance?! We could win 4 or 5-1 if they scored.

    And while it’s a win but it feels like a lost because we didn’t proceed to the next round.

    Oh well. At least Chuk and Jovic played well and showed their consistency that we really need in the league.

    1. Theo could have played that ball to Chuk or ran with the ball. It was obvious that Leao ain’t match fit yet, Pioli should have subbed him early than he did.

      Jovic has been impressive after he got his first goal, he needs to maintain this composure.

    1. Translation : “Hur Dur Yucka Yucka”

      God, your post was so insightful I almost cried at how angelic it was.

      Ground breaking I tell ya!

      Boulden, you should just put the shovel down.

  2. This was group of death. But Milan managed to collect 8 points.
    Thats not a small amount. Next year is different format of the champions league. It could be similar competition like this group.
    Milan still have a lot of reasons why to fight. Europa league, and spot for next next year champions league.

        1. You shouldn’t be surprised by his comment, he and many others here never see any positive to this Milan team in this group of death. We were far better this season than the previous 2 seasons in champions league. First time back in champs we barely scored a goal in that group stage and we were sent packing, the next season we scaled through the group stage with goddess of luck on our side, but memory seems to fail most here.

  3. We knew it wasnt in our hands to qualify, the performances of previous games in ucl got us here. However, massive improvement the second half (forst hañf was abismal) and finally decent game management from Pioli. Worried about our teams health playing in Europa now but its important flr revenue and uefa points. Maybe this will light a fire under management’s ass to spend some more momey in January.

  4. what is it with bald coaches and luck?

    we looked like amateurs for the majority of the game. No attacking plan when in possession, and horrendous off-the-ball movement/pressing when out of possession.

    but one defensive blunder by NU and a good finish by Chukwueze will make the clueless management give him a pass. and his fanboys will surely keep on pretending like all is well.

    1. Just look at the statistic for the FIRST match vs newcastle. That time we shot about 10 on target and newcastle only 1 on target. I think its fair now we get the win because newcastle luck has been run out to avoid defeat in that match.

      and considering the milan defense use theo as CB, i think it will be easier win if both team got complete squad.

  5. Let’s be honest even if we went through round of 16 no way we would have made it any further. The only team that would been beatable and finished first is Atlético Madrid all the other teams would have destroyed us.

  6. 1. A great result considering our injuries. The players showed a lot of grit and sacrifice to come from behind. I know there were bad misses and bad moments but the difference makers showed up when needed and our subs finished the job. The defense were great throughout the match and Maignan came up big for us.
    2. Credit to Pioli for managing the game well and keeping the players in it after going behind.
    3. Our midfield was awful again. Newcastle cut through them like a hot knife through butter the entire game. To make matters worse, in an open game, we couldn’t create chances through the middle until Jovic came on. I wouldn’t be surprised to see a double pivot of Krunic and Bennacer next game.
    4. I’m celebrating the result and the attitude but let’s not forget, we’re out of the CL. From a semi-final to a first round exit. This is what we disrespected a club legend and successful manager for. This is what we sold a fan favorite and quality midfielder for. This is what we spent over 100 million for.

    1. I think they were an embarrassment for the majority of the game, Newcastle were far better and should have been out of sight.
      No heart, no quality
      Newcastle through it away

  7. This game not change picture in general
    Not Milan win but Newcastle lost…
    Rejnders already tired per 60 min but no substitution , maybe he should die on the pitch.
    Musah played as left central midfielder and after substitution started to play right winger…
    We not playing like Milan we are playing as mid team with mid coach with tactics “Dai,dai,dai”
    Next game with Monza will be the same struggling without any idea how to play..
    Poor management => poor coach

  8. “We not playing like Milan we are playing as mid team with mid coach with tactics “Dai,dai,dai:- good one. Yoi are right. Were were poor tonight, despite the win. Hell, ive seen 4th tier teams string more passes than us this cl season.

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