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Newcastle United’s European journey comes to an end

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Newcastle United out of Champions League after AC Milan loss
Newcastle United have finished fourth in their group in the UEFA Champions League. | PHOTO: Sky Sports |
  • Newcastle United hosted Serie A side AC Milan in a UEFA Champions League clash on Wednesday night
  • Both teams needed a win to get a chance to progress to the knockout stages or even earn a place in the Europa League
  • Despite scoring first, Newcastle United were handed a 2-1 loss to finish last in Group F

Newcastle United’s UEFA Champions League aspirations were dealt a blow as AC Milan orchestrated a comeback, securing a 2-1 victory at St James’ Park. Despite Newcastle’s promising start and Joelinton’s superb first-half strike that nestled into the top corner past Milan’s goalkeeper Mike Maignan, the Italian giants shifted gears in the second period.

Joelinton’s first-half brilliance gave the hosts a well-deserved lead going into the break. However, Milan, with their rich European pedigree, responded in the second half. Christian Pulisic found the equalizer, leveling the score. The decisive moment arrived six minutes before the final whistle when Samuel Chukwueze curled home from inside the area, ensuring Milan’s progression to the Europa League and terminating Newcastle’s Champions League journey.

Meanwhile, Paris St Germain (PSG) faced a stern challenge against Borussia Dortmund, and their Champions League hopes hung in the balance after Dortmund took the lead early in the second half. Karim Adeyemi’s close-range finish had PSG on the back foot, but their fortunes changed when Warren Zaire-Emery found the bottom corner. The 1-1 draw proved vital for PSG, securing their place in the last 16 from Group F in the second position.

Newcastle United 1-2 AC Milan - Champions League

AC Milan players celebrate after Samuel Chukwueze scored the winner against Newcastle United in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday, December 13, 2023. | PHOTO: Sky |

RELATED: Newcastle United back in the Champions League after 20 years

In Group G, Manchester City continued their imperious form with a 3-2 away victory over Red Star Belgrade. Debutant Micah Hamilton powered into the net, providing City with the lead. Oscar Bobb extended their advantage, seemingly setting the stage for a comfortable victory. However, Belgrade responded with determination, pulling a goal back through Hwang In-beom. City re-established their two-goal lead with Kalvin Phillips’ penalty, and although Belgrade scored again in stoppage time through Aleksandar Katai, it wasn’t enough to prevent City from securing a perfect group stage record with 18 points.

RB Leipzig, already assured of their place in the last 16, continued their impressive run with a 2-1 victory over Young Boys. Benjamin Sesko and Emil Forsberg scored twice in five second-half minutes, securing the win for Leipzig. Ebrima Colley briefly leveled for Young Boys, but Leipzig maintained their dominance in Group H.

Celtic, seeking redemption in the group stage, secured their first victory with a 2-1 win over Feyenoord at Celtic Park. Luis Palma opened the scoring for Celtic just after the half-hour mark, but Feyenoord pulled level through Yankuba Minteh. The specter of another winless campaign loomed for Celtic until Gustaf Lagerbielke’s late header secured the victory in stoppage time.

Atletico Madrid locked horns with Lazio in a battle between already qualified teams from Group E. Antoine Griezmann and Samuel Lino found the net, propelling Atletico to a 2-0 victory.

Porto progressed to the last 16 of the Champions League with a convincing 5-3 win over Shakhtar Donetsk. Galeno, Danylo Sikan, and Mehdi Taremi were among the scorers for Porto. Despite Stephen Eustakio’s own goal and Eguinaldo’s late consolation for Shakhtar, Porto secured the victory, showcasing their attacking prowess.

In a stunning upset, Royal Antwerp secured their first Champions League victory of the season with a dramatic 3-2 triumph over Barcelona. Arthur Vermeeren opened the scoring for Antwerp, but Barcelona leveled through Ferran Torres before Vincent Janssen regained the lead for Antwerp. In a late twist, Barcelona thought they had secured a point with Marc Gulu’s stoppage-time strike, only for Antwerp to snatch a dramatic winner a minute later through George Ilenikhena.

As the Champions League group stage unfolded with twists and turns, Newcastle faced disappointment, PSG secured their progression, Manchester City continued their dominant form, RB Leipzig maintained their winning streak, Celtic celebrated their first victory, Atletico triumphed, Porto progressed, and Royal Antwerp stunned Barcelona. The unpredictable nature of the Champions League once again took center stage, highlighting the drama and excitement that define this prestigious competition.

Nathan Sialah is a journalist by profession with interest in politics, sports, cryptocurrency and human interests with 5 years experience in Radio and Digital Journalism. This has helped Sialah develop a responsible approach to any task he undertakes or any situation that he is presented with.

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