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UCL: Chukwueze denied as Newcastle hold Milan

Super Eagles striker Samuel Chukwueze  was last night in the thick of action  as Newcastle held AC Milan to a goalless draw in their opening match of their first Champions League campaign in two decades.

A fit-again Sandro Tonali was brought back into the Magpies’ XI for his San Siro homecoming, while Howe also made the bold decision to introduce Jacob Murphy into his attacking triumvirate.

Newcastle stifled Milan effectively in the opening stages, but they were soon subjected to a frenzied period of Rossoneri attacks, starting with Pope producing a fine double save to deny Tommaso Pobega and Chukwueze in the 13th  minute.

Eddie Howe’s Newcastle will be the happier of the two sides to earn a point from the Group F clash at the San Siro after being on the back foot for the vast majority of the match.

Milan should have won after wasting a string of chances, particularly in the first half, and dominating the play on Sandro Tonali’s return to his old stomping ground after being sold to Newcastle in July.

Newcastle did little in their first match in Europe’s top club competition since 2003, the Saudi Arabia-backed team barely creating a chance and lucky to escape with a draw on the balance of play.

Tonali’s father was at the San Siro and saw much more football played by the hosts than by his son, back in the Newcastle starting line-up after missing international duty with injury.

The Italy midfielder was loudly cheered by home supporters who don’t resent his mega-money move to England before kick-off.

But home fans, who watched their team be thumped 5-1 by local rivals Inter Milan on Saturday, were left frustrated by their team’s poor finishing and Newcastle’s dogged defending which left the match goalless.

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