Samuel Chukwueze slipped a rapier dagger into Newcastle United’s UEFA Champions League campaign as AC Milan won 2-1 at St James’ Park on a gripping matchday six in Group F.
The comeback win was not enough for Stefano Pioli’s men to progress as Paris Saint-Germain drew 1-1 at Borussia Dortmund to take second place behind the Bundesliga giants by virtue of a superior head-to-head record over Milan, who drop into the Europa League.
Had PSG finished level on eight points with Newcastle as opposed to the Rossoneri, they’d have been done for — a situation that looked plausible when Joelinton clattered a magnificent 33rd-minute strike into the top corner from Lewis Miley’s pass.
Dortmund and PSG then exchanged goals on an evening of mounting drama before Pulisic dispatched a close-range finish following fine work from Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud.
Newcastle’s exertions during their recent injury crisis appeared to take a toll, even as substitute Alexander Isak threatened to turn the contest back in their favour and Mike Maignan made an astonishing save to turn Bruno Guimaraes’ piledriver against the crossbar.
Leao surged clear to hit the post as the hosts committed men forward and the winner came on the break six minutes from time as fellow substitutes Luka Jovic and Noah Okafor set up Chukwueze to dispatch a cool finish high into Martin Dubravka’s net.
Newcastle vs AC Milan final score
|Pulisic ’59, Chukwueze ’84
Newcastle (4-3-3, right to left): 1. Martin Dubravka (GK) — 2. Kieran Trippier (33. Dan Burn), 6. Jamaal Lascelles, 5. Fabian Schar, 21. Tino Livramento — 7. Joelinton, 39. Bruno Guimaraes, 67. Lewis Miley (36. Sean Longstaff) — 24. Miguel Almiron, 9. Callum Wilson, 10. Anthony Gordon (14. Alexander Isak).
AC Milan (4-33, right to left): 16. Mike Maignan (GK) — 2. Davide Calabria, 23. Fikayo Tomori, 19. Theo Hernandez, 42. Alessandro Florenzi — 80. Yunus Musah (21. Samuel Chukwueze), 14. Tijjani Reijnders, 8. Ruben Loftus-Cheek (32. Tommaso Pobega) — 10. Rafael Leao (95. Davide Bartesaghi), 9. Olivier Giroud (17. Noah Okafor), 11. Christian Pulisic (15. Luka Jovic).
Tomori makes his Euro 2024 case
For a club steeped in a history of defensive stoicism, Milan were forced to enter this crunch clash with something of a makeshift back four. Every player in it can be considered a fine operator, but Theo Hernandez’s tendencies as an attacking left-back felt ill-suited to a central defensive brief and Alessandro Florenzi outside him was never likely to provide the most diligent cover.
At times during the opening half hour, it felt like Fikayo Tomori was holding the whole thing together by himself. It was a job the former Chelsea youngster absolutely relished. Tomori’s six clearances were more than any other player on the night and his late block from Dan Burn had some inevitability about it. Whenever Newcastle found a shaft of light during the second half, the England international was there to shut it out.
Ah yes, England. Gareth Southgate is not exactly as blessed with central defensive depth as he is in other positions and, at times since Tomori swapped the Premier League for Serie A, it has felt like a case of out of sight, out of mind. As the 25-year-old stormed forward to rattle the post on the final attack of the game, it occurred that he’d made himself pretty impossible to ignore.
Injury woes catch up with Howe and Newcastle
Eddie Howe refused to dwell on the handball controversy that allowed PSG to snatch a crucial 1-1 draw last time out in Paris, but he did acknowledge that Newcastle had almost gone into some games “with one hand tied behind our back”.
“We haven’t been able to utilise the squad that we’ve created and that’s been a big frustration for us,” he told TNT Sport. Callum Wilson being available to start meant Howe altered his outfield selection for the first time in six matches. Towards the end of a third consecutive defeat in all competitions, it all seemed to catch up with them.
Kieran Trippier hobbling off and Tino Livramento switching to right-back gave Newcastle a little more attacking thrust, as did Isak’s introduction in place of the impressive Anthony Gordon. But it meant they were exposed to clinical counter-attacks from Milan’s fresh legs. Given their horizon-shattering takeover, it’s hard to bemoan Newcastle’s luck in a broader sense. But fortune has not shone on Howe or his bedraggled players in this campaign.
Pioli revels in Milan’s three-card trick
As Howe basked in the luxury of having a few senior substitutes with fully functioning limbs, his opposite number Pioli moved his pieces around the board masterfully. The Milan boss did not turn to his bench until inside the final 20 minutes, when Newcastle’s flame was flickering and fading.
Pulisic was fairly quiet aside from his goal but Jovic was anything but, tenaciously driving the home defence back onto their heels and showing why Real Madrid were so keen to take a chance on him a few years ago. Jovic was at the heart of the winning goal, while Okafor and Chukwueze may never have more perfect first involvements in any match for the rest of their careers.
Nine points behind rivals Inter Milan in Serie A, Pioli might just have handed himself an impeccably timed boost.
Newcastle vs AC Milan as it happened
Fulltime: It’s all over and a strange, sad silence grips everything. Newcastle, perhaps unsurprisingly, ran out of steam there after Joelinton’s brilliant first-half opener. Milan did their job magnificently, but a draw for PSG in Dortmund means they’ll have to be content with Europa League football. The big winner here tonight is Luis Enrique, whose side were walloped 4-1 here, of course. That stands as Newcastle’s only win on their Champions League return. They’ve had some tough breaks go against them, but one win from six tells a convincing enough story, unfortunately.
90th minute+4: Milan break again, here’s Tomori — what on earth is he doing up there? The centre-back thuds his shot against the post!
90th minute+3: Milan get it clear and Hernandez has an open goal… which he tries to pass the ball into from 50 yards. That’s rubbish.
90th minute+2: Lovely move from Newcastle. Tomori clears behind from Burn. He’s been colossal. Dubravka up for the corner
90th minute: Four added minutes to be played. Newcastle are surely out of the Champions League. However, if they can equalise PSG would be through and they’d drop into the Europa League at Milan’s expense. As things stand, Milan need a Dortmund goal to go through.
89th minute: Guimaraes tries to win a corner but runs out of road. Much like Newcastle’s European campaign at this point.
88th minute: Pioli is probably feeling quite good about his substitutions given three replacements combined for that goal that could take Milan through to the knockout stages. He now throws on 17-year-old Davide Bartesaghi to see the job out.
84th minute: GOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!! Samuel Chukwueze!!!!!!
Instant impact from the substitute! Schar strides forward on a death or glory charge from centre-back. Milan intercept and it’s death, I’m afraid. Jovic carries the attack forward and Okafor slips a pass to Chukwueze, who finishes with aplomb.
83rd minute: Another attacking substitution as Chukwueze replaces Musah for Milan. Both teams have to go for it.
82nd minute: That’s dozy from Newcastle, who leave themselves two-on-one against from a short corner. Reijnders saunters inside and has a shot blocked.
80th minute: Musah tries to swap shirts with Isak 10 minutes to early and Newcastle have a free-kick about 35 yards out.
79th minute: LEAO HITS THE POST!!! Oh my, oh my. Livramento takes a terrible touch around halfway and Leao is away. There’s no catching him. He sends Dubravka the wrong way but his shot cannons against the outside of the left-hand post and away to safety.
77th minute: Lovely low ball in from Livramento and Wilson kicks at fresh air. Was that the chance?
75th minute: PSG have had a goal disallowed in Dortmund. So, as things stand, the Ligue 1 champions are going through a Group F runners-up. If either of Milan or Newcastle go ahead and the game in Dortmund remain all-square then they will move into second spot. An actual PSG goal would probably ruin all the fun at this point.
73rd minute: Changes for Milan as Jovic replaces the goalscorer Pulisic and Loftus-Cheek makes way for Pobega.
71st minute: Miley makes way for Longstaff. It’s been another superb outing for the teenager. He’s special.
69th minute: UNBELIEVABLE SAVE ONTO THE CROSSBAR FROM MAIGNAN! Isak coming in off that left flank is a problem. He tees up Guimaraes, who lets rip from outside the box. Maignan gets a firm hand to the ball and turns it against the furniture.
67th minute: Isak cuts inside for his first sight of goal. That’s deflected behind. At least it looked that way. Goal kick!
65th minute: Hernandez chucks himself to the floor under pressure from Guimaraes. What a waste of time. He’d have been better off trying to head the ball.
64th minute: Leao is purring a bit now and that’s ominous for Newcastle. Livramento scrambles back to tackle the Portugal winger and it’s a corner.
62nd minute: A couple of changes for Newcastle. Isak and Burn on for Gordon and Trippier. That means Livramento over to right-back. Two strikers on now for the host, but I must say I’m surprised to see Gordon making way.
59th minute: GOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!! Christian Pulisic!!!!
Leao gets down the left and cuts a low cross into the box. Newcastle’s defence a touch static there but it’s a clever pass from the wily old fox Giroud. Everyone expects him to take the shot on but he changes the angle to leave Pulisic with a tap in.
58th minute: Reijnders shows some nice feet to get into the Newcastle box. Schar clears behind. The ball is aimed for Giroud, Newcastle deal with it unfussily but back come Milan…
55th minute: Warren Zaire-Emery has equalised for PSG! Another twist. Meanwhile, in the football game I’m actually supposed to be telling you about, the effervescent Gordon has won a corner.
51st minute: A BIG, BIG MOMENT IN GROUP F. Karim Adeyemi has given Borussia Dortmund the lead against PSG. Luis Enrique’s team now need to score twice if Newcastle stay ahead. Howe’s men in the box seat as things stand.
46th minute: We’re back underway for a half of football where you’ll probably be checking events in Dortmund as much as you’re watching this one. The Sporting News has you covered for that too.
Halftime: Far from the high-octane thrills of their win over PSG earlier in the competition, Newcastle approached their task in a clear-headed fashion. Gradually they pegged Milan back and found a goal of the highest quality through Joelinton. If it stays like this on Tyneside and in Dortmund, Eddie Howe’s side are going through. Of course, you’d be a very brave person to bet on that outcome. See you in a few minutes.
45th minute+1: All sorts of carry-on here. Trippier has a corner on the right. It’s long delayed as the referee tries to sort out some assorted nonsense in the penalty area. Joelinton duly fouls Maignan. The Milan goalkeeper is awfully grumpy about this and smashes the ball away to earn a booking.
42nd minute: Milan finally get some breathing space and put a nice move together inside the Newcastle half until Musah passes to no one in particular.
35th minute: Right then, that phrase for days like this… as it stands Newcastle are going through. PSG have battered Dortmund by all accounts so far but that game remains 0-0.
33rd minute: GOOOOOAAAAALLLLL!!!! Joelinton!!!!
Oh, what a goal that is! Gordon drops into midfield, drives at Milan and they don’t know whether to stick or twist. Miley finds room down the right channel, Gordon picks him out and the teenager lays it off for Joelinton to arrow a vicious, venomous strike straight into the top corner. Roof off.
31st minute: Tomori boots another ball out of the Milan box. He looks really in the mood tonight and has been superb so far.
26th minute: Almiron gets on the end of a Joelinton cross but his header is too close to Maignan. You’d probably want the roles reversed there.
24th minute: Trippier over-commits and Leao is into the Newcastle box. He shoots just wide of the far post as St James’ Park holds its breath.
20th minute: INCREDIBLE GOALLINE CHALLENGE FROM TOMORI!!! Newcastle slice through the left-hand side of the Milan defence. Joelinton touches the ball beyond Maignan and Almiron is ready to tap home. Tomori has other ideas, though and flings himself in to clear behind. Unbelievable defending.
18th minute: Schar scored a beauty from distance to crown the 4-1 win over Paris Saint-Germain on this ground. The Switzerland defender’s latest attempt from range is way over.
16th minute: Calabria does very well to cut out a return pass for Gordon. An accomplished Milan backline have made a very strong start to this one. Newcastle yet to fashion a clear chance.
12th minute: Giroud and Leao are involved in a fine Milan break. Here’s Pulisic in a good position down the right but he slices his cross behind.
6th minute: The England full-back whips one just over the crossbar.
5th minute: That’s clumsy from Pulisic, who brings down Gordon and Newcastle have a free-kick in Kieran Trippier country.
2nd minute: Whoever had Anthony Gordon whipping up the crowd after conceding a throw-in, please chalk it off you Newcastle United Champions League bingo card.
1st minute: We’re off. What on earth are Milan wearing? It’s vile. Joelinton introduces himself to to Loftus-Cheek with a lunging challenge and the visitors have an free-kick deep in their own half.
3 mins prior to kickoff: Here are the players. Lined up for the Champions League anthem and it’s loud in there. Which of these teams just heard that song for the last time this season? Maybe both of them.
15 mins prior to kickoff: As you’d expect, the atmosphere inside St James ‘ Park is whipping up into something truly special. This is massive.
40 mins prior to kickoff: When these sides met back in September, Newcastle left San Siro with a 0-0 draw but indisputably rode their luck. Nick Pope was inspired and, in the final analysis, Milan might very well come to regret their wastefulness. Pope, of course, is sidelined through injury tonight and the hosts will have to make sure Martin Dubravka doesn’t get such a thorough working over.
1 hour prior to kickoff: And this is the Milan team Newcastle will have to contend with.
— AC Milan (@acmilan) December 13, 2023
1 hr 10 mins prior to kickoff: Here are the teams and the big news for Newcastle is that Martin Dubravka is fit to start. Callum Wilson is back in from the start, with Alexander Isak among the substitutes.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) December 13, 2023
1 hr 40 mins prior to kickoff: Okay, so on nights like tonight you can end up frying your head when it comes to permutations. Let’s get the simple bit out of the way. If Paris Saint-Germain beat the already-qualified Borussia Dortmund at Signal Iduna Park, then both Newcastle and Milan are out. However, Dortmund are not assured of top spot so have a seeded place in the round of 16 to play for.
Similarly, nothing but a win will suffice if either the Magpies or the Rossoneri want to reach the knockout stages. “Must-win” gets thrown around a lot in football, but it’s authentically the case here. If Newcastle win and PSG fail to, then Eddie Howe’s men go through as runners-up by virtue of their 4-1 hammering of the Ligue 1 champions on matchday two giving them a superior head-to-head record.
For Milan, only a PSG defeat brings them into the conversation. Indeed, in the event of PSG avoiding defeat, Stefano Pioli’s team must beat Newcastle to pip them to a place in the Europa League playoffs. All clear? Lovely!
2 hours prior to kickoff: Hello and welcome to the Sporting News’ live coverage of the huge Champions League clash between Newcastle and AC Milan at St James’ Park. It’s a game both teams need to win. Buckle up.
— Newcastle United FC (@NUFC) December 13, 2023
Newcastle vs AC Milan lineups, team news
Howe was finally be able to make some changes to his team after Sean Longstaff and Callum Wilson came off the bench in the 4-1 Premier League defeat at Tottenham last weekend.
Longstaff is among the substitutes once more, with teenager Lewis Miley starting alongside Brazilian pair Bruno Guimaraes and Joelinton. Wilson has been preferred to Alexander Isak at centre-forward.
Newcastle United lineup (4-3-3, right to left): Dubravka (GK) — Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Livramento — Joelinton, Guimaraes, Miley — Almiron, Wilson, Gordon.
AC Milan are boosted by the return from injury of Portugal international Rafael Leao and he is straight into the starting line-up on Tyneside. However, Stefano Pioli is missing some key components of his defence, with Simon Kjaer, Malick Thiaw and Pierre Kalulu all sidelined.
AC Milan lineup (4-3-3, right to left): Maignan (GK) — Calabria, Tomori, Hernandez, Florenzi — Musah ,Reijnders, Loftus-Cheek — Leao, Giroud, Pulisic.
Newcastle vs AC Milan live stream, TV channel
The Newcastle vs. AC Milan match from the Champions League kicks off at 8:00 p.m. local time from St James’ Park in Newcastle.
Below are the corresponding times, TV channels, and live streams to watch the match in selected regions around the world
|Wed, Dec. 13
|3:00 p.m. ET
|Paramount+, ViX, Univision NOW
|Wed, Dec. 13
|3:00 p.m. ET
|Wed, Dec. 13
|8:00 p.m. GMT
|Thu, Dec. 14
|7:00 a.m. AEDT
|Thu, Dec. 14
|1:30 a.m. IST
USA: This game is available via Paramount+ with Spanish language coverage provided by ViX.
Canada: Every Champions League game this season is live-streaming exclusively via DAZN in Canada.
Australia: Fans in Australia can stream every Champions League match live and on-demand on Stan Sport.
UK: This match is available for live broadcast via TNT Sports with streaming options on discovery+.