Updated Mon 18 Dec 2023, 11:55 by Ash Harrison

Milan (H) player ratings: Joelinton makes it a hat-trick of POTMs on a heartbreaking night for NUFC

Milan (H) player ratings: Joelinton makes it a hat-trick of POTMs on a heartbreaking night for NUFC
Serena Taylor/Newcastle United
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Newcastle bowed out of Europe with a heartbreaking 2-1 home defeat to Milan, despite Dortmund doing the business against PSG.

Eddie Howe's severely depleted squad gave everything they had to win the game—seemingly having little interest in dropping into the Europa League—but fell short in a frantic second period.

Having dominated the contest before the break, the Magpies were made to pay for their profligacy by the counter-attacking quality of the Rossoneri, who played the occasion much better than their hosts.

There was a severe lack of composure and nous on show from those in black and white, with the likes of Fabian Schär, Bruno Guimarães, and Alexander Isak particularly disappointing given their quality.

At the other end of the scale, Joelinton was fantastic and Lewis Miley put in another excellent showing, while Kieran Trippier battled manfully against Rafael Leão despite struggling with a knock.

The players gave it their all but ultimately fell short

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Serena Taylor/Newcastle United
Joelinton couldn't have done much more to drag us into the round of 16

Martin Dúbravka – 3

When your goalkeeper doesn't make a single save in the game you're always going to struggle. He was poor for both Milan goals—getting nowhere near the second despite it being far from in the corner—and was saved by his right-hand post on two other occasions.

Kieran Trippier – 7

He had the most difficult assignment of the back four with Leão as his direct opponent but dealt with him really well until finally succumbing to what seemed like an accumulation of knocks. Most of our best play in the first half went through him, too, as it usually does.

Jamaal Lascelles (c) – 5

This was the third game in a row where Lascelles has been better in possession than when doing the nitty gritty of defending. He deserves credit for improving that side of his game so much, but he had a torrid time up against Giroud, which gave Milan a base to work from.

Fabian Schär – 6

He fared much better than Lascelles defensively, but it was ultimately his run and failed one-two with Isak that led directly to Milan's second goal. It's hard to criticise him too much for trying to grab the game by the scruff of the neck, but he needed to show more nous.

Tino Livramento – 8

Won 9/10 duels and ruined Leão in a foot race at one point in the first half, which is no easy task, but was unable to impact the game much in the final third. It'll be very interesting to see him at right-back against Fulham on Saturday, as that's clearly his best position.

Lewis Miley – 8

Finished the game with an assist and a 93% pass completion rate, the highest of anyone in black and white. His disguised pass to Joelinton for the goal was another beauty and, overall, he showed much, much more composure than many of his more senior colleagues.

Bruno Guimarães – 7

After being great in the first half, he let the occasion get to him after the break and was guilty of some really sloppy moments in possession. He still almost won it with a nice effort that Maignan saved brilliantly, but he had to take a yellow to stop the counter for the second.

Joelinton – 9 ⭐️

He made our best chance of the game for Almirón and scored a superb opener, nearly putting a hole in the Leazes End net. Besides those two major contributions, he was our most threatening attacking player in possession and did everything he could to get the win.

Miguel Almirón – 5

When are Barnes and Murphy back? We've reached the point where we're sick to death of watching Miggy play every game. His work rate can't be questioned, as always, but his failure to score the opener from Joelinton's pass was criminal and he was poor otherwise.

Callum Wilson – 6

He led the line much better than Isak has in recent games, making the visiting centre-backs earn their coin, but he never looked like scoring and snatched at the opportunities that came his way. He probably won't look back on his maiden European campaign very fondly.

Anthony Gordon – 7

The "old" new Gordon was back in the opening period but he ran into hamstring trouble after the break. He played a massive part in our goal and seemingly had the beating of Calabria one-on-one, while his contribution to the press was outstanding as well.

This was the strongest bench we've had for weeks

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Serena Taylor/Newcastle United
A special word for Wor Flags, who set the scene beautifully at St James'

Alexander Isak – 5

Why on Earth did he not bring Okafor down on the break for Milan's second? Unlike Bruno, he wasn't facing a suspension if he picked up a yellow. This was another poor showing from Isak overall, though he did at least make the opportunity for Bruno that was saved.

Dan Burn – 5

He got sucked in too narrow for the winner, though he was sold down the river by Bruno and Isak's failures to stop the break at its source. One nice pass for Joelinton aside, this was pretty standard fare from Burn, who we never want to see as an auxiliary striker again.

Sean Longstaff – 6

He used the ball well after coming on and was one of the few to show composure as we tried to claw back the deficit.

Next up for the Magpies is Fulham at home

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Wilson and Isak combined to earn us a 1-0 win in that fixture last season

Howe and his players don't have long to dwell on the Milan result, thankfully, with Fulham due at Gallowgate on Saturday for an old-fashioned 3 p.m. kick-off.

There's no television coverage for that one and the Cottagers come into the contest on a fine run of scoring form having put five past West Ham and Nottingham Forest in their last two outings. They also netted three times at Anfield in a 4-3 defeat.

They haven't won away from home since the opening weekend of the season, though, so we shouldn't have anything to fear.

Howay the lads!

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