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Newcastle suffer first Champions League defeat in razor-thin thriller vs Dortmund

Only the finest of margins stood between Newcastle and three points, one point and the zero points they ultimately took from a 1-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the UEFA Champions League at St. James’ Park on Wednesday.

[ MORE: Champions League tables ]

Newcastle were largely overrun in the first half before seizing control in desperate pursuit of an equalizer in the second. As things stand, Paris Saint-Germain (6 points) sit atop of an incredibly loaded Group F, two points above Newcastle and Dortmund, now level on four points, with AC Milan sitting 4th on two points. Newcastle will host Milan on the final day of the group, after trips to PSG and Dortmund.

The halftime score could have very easily 3-1 in favor of Dortmund, as Newcastle goalkeeper Nick Pope flapped and flailed every which way to keep the ball out of his goal, particularly in the opening 15 minutes when he made three saves to deny 1.04 worth of xG (Dortmund would go on to rack up 1.70 in the first half). Alas, it remained scoreless as the final minutes before the break ticked away.

Eddie Howe would have felt incredibly fortunate to reach the halftime interval on level terms, but Dortmund finally found a way though in the 45th minute. Anthony Gordon lost the ball, and was perhaps fouled, as he surged through the center circle and Dortmund quickly launched a counter-attack the other way. Eventually, Nico Schlotterbeck made his way into the penalty area and cut the ball back to Felix Nmecha atop the box, where the one-time-capped Germany international guided a right-footed finish out of Pope’s reach just inside his left-hand post.

[ MORE: Champions League schedule ]

Newcastle looked certain to equalize in the 57th minute, as they broke down the left after Fabian Scahr heroically won the ball back, springing Wilson and Anthony Gordon on their way. Gordon found Wilson just inside the penalty spot, but Wilson took a touch that perhaps he didn’t have time or space to take, allowing Gregor Kobel to close down the angles and make the point-blank save.

The Magpies went agonizingly close again in the 87th minute, when Matt Targett served up a delightful free kick to the far post and Wilson rose highest to head it onward. Kobel was never reaching it to make the save had it snuck under the crossbar, but the ball instead struck the front of the woodwork and bounced back into the field of play.

Even more heartbreaking was Anthony Gordon’s chance in the final 30 seconds of stoppage time, as the crossbar saved the day once more for Dortmund. Gordon got on a loose ball near the penalty spot and quickly uncorked a left-footed shot which took a severe deflection off the outstretched leg of Sebastien Haller and bounded toward goal. Perhaps Kobel was there to make the save if need be, but St. James’ Park was instead left staring in disbelief at the continued misfortune.

Star striker Alexander Isak picked up an apparent leg injury and was forced off after just 15 minutes, replaced by Wilson, who already have five Premier League goals this season but still awaits his first in the Champions League. Jacob Ramsey also suffered an apparent arm injury when he braced his fall to the ground midway through the first half, not even five minutes after he came off the bench.

What’s next?

Newcastle return to Premier League play on Sunday, when they head to Molineux Stadium to take on Wolves. Their Champions League campaign resumes with Wednesday’s reverse fixture, away to Dortmund on Nov. 7.

Player ratings - Newcastle vs Borussia Dortmund


Newcastle vs Borussia Dortmund, final score: 0-1

Goalscorers: Felix Nmecha (45')

45th minute - GOAL - Felix Nmecha strikes to put Dortmund ahead before halftime


How to watch Newcastle vs Borussia Dortmund live, stream link, start time

Date: Wednesday, October 25

Kick off: 3pm ET

How to watch: Paramount+ and TUDN USA


Newcastle starting lineup

Pope — Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Burn — Guimaraes, Longstaff, Joelinton — Almiron, Isak, Gordon

Focus on Newcastle United

The Magpies have claimed four of six points from their two matches following the 4-1 beatdown of PSG. That’s only good enough for sixth in the Premier League despite the most goals scored and joint-fourth fewest goals conceded.

OUT: Harvey Barnes (foot), Sven Botman (knee), Lewis Miley (illness) | QUESTIONABLE: Joe Willock (lower leg)

Borussia Dortmund lineup

Kobel — Wolf, Hummels, Schlotterbeck, Bensebaini — Can, Sabitzer, Nmecha — Reus, Fullkrug, Malen

Focus on Borussia Dortmund

Dortmund is two points off the top of the Bundesliga table, winners of five-straight in league play including Friday’s 1-0 defeat of Werder Bremen at the Westfalenstadion.

OUT: Thomas Meunier (muscular), Mateu Morey (knee), Antonios Papadopoulos (suspension)