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Newcastle out of Champions League, Europe after AC Milan’s late comeback

Newcastle went from 1-0 up and headed to the UEFA Champions League knockout rounds shortly after halftime, to out of European competition altogether, following a 2-1 defeat to AC Milan on Wednesday.

[ MORE: UEFA Champions League group stage tables in full ]

Eddie Howe’s side needed a victory as well as PSG failing to beat Borussia Dortmund on the final day of Group F play to reach the round of 16. Dortmund led PSG 1-0 after a 51st-minute goal before settling for a 1-1 draw in Germany, meaning Newcastle would have finished 2nd in the group with a victory by two goals or more.

Instead, their one-goal advantage turned to zero and eventually a deficit, as the shorthanded, injury-depleted Magpies came up short on a bridge too far once again. Howe had just one attacking substitute — Alexander Isak — at his disposal, with Harvey Barnes, Jacob Murphy and Elliot Anderson all out injured.

[ MORE: Champions League schedule, scores ]

It was a bright start for Newcastle, who were on the front foot from the opening whistle and went ahead through Joelinton’s thunderous strike in the 33rd minute. Lewis Miley played a simple ball back to the Brazilian on the edge of the penalty area and Joelinton smoked a right-footed laser into the top corner. St. James’ Park erupted as Joelinton strode away stoically.

The lead held until just before the hour mark, when the momentum violently swung all the way in the other direction. Newcastle had gone close to making it 2-0 early in the second half, but USMNT star Christian Pulisic made it 1-1 after 59 minutes instead. The ball bounced around Newcastle’s penalty area before Olivier Giroud picked out the American to his right, inside the six-yard box.

The 1-1 draw would have seen Newcastle out of the Champions League, but at least in the Europa League knockout rounds where they could win a major European trophy and qualify for next season’s UCL, should they fail to do so via the Premier League. Alas, 70 seconds after Samuel Chukwueze came off the bench for AC Milan, he finished a lethal counter-attack with a fine finish to the far post in the 84th minute, to snatch 3rd place and head to the Europa League.

Player ratings - Newcastle vs AC Milan

Newcastle vs AC Milan, final score: 1-2

Goalscorers: Joelinton (33'), Christian Pulisic (59'), Samuel Chukwueze (84')

33rd minute - GOAL - Joelinton smashes Newcastle in front (Dortmund 0-0 PSG)

59th minute - GOAL - Christian Pulisic pulls AC Milan level (Dortmund 1-1 PSG)

84th minute - GOAL - Samuel Chukwueze breaks Geordie hearts from a late winner


How to watch Newcastle vs AC Milan live, stream link, time

Kickoff: 3 pm ET, Wednesday (Dec. 13)

Online: Paramount+


Newcastle starting lineup

Dubravka — Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Livramento — Guimaraes, Miley, Joelinton — Almiron, Wilson, Gordon

AC Milan starting lineup

Maigna — Calabria, Tomori, Hernandez, Florenzi — Reijnders, Musah, Loftus-Cheek — Pulisic, Giroud, Leao

Focus on Newcastle, injury news

OUT: Sandro Tonali (suspension), Nick Pope (shoulder), Sven Botman (knee), Harvey Barnes (foot), Callum Wilson (thigh), Dan Burn (back), Matt Targett (thigh), Jacob Murphy (shoulder), Elliot Anderson (back), Javi Manquillo (groin), Joe Willock (achilles)

Focus on AC Milan, injury news

OUT: Pierre Kalulu (knee), Mattia Caldara (ankle), Marco Sportiello (undisclosed), Malick Thiaw (hamstring), Noah Okafor (hamstring)