Newcastle United’s first Champions League game in over twenty years was hardly a classic.
A goalless draw at AC Milan was perhaps a lucky result for Newcastle, who had to rely on a number of Nick Pope saves to emerge with a clean sheet.
Still, it’s a positive start in terms of result and at least gets an early point on the board in what is a fiercely competitive group also containing Borussia Dortmund and Paris Saint-Germain.
It may not have been a great night but it certainly could have gone a lot worse as a reintroduction to the Champions League.
Newcastle were not at their free-flowing best and a BBC Sport pundit believes the relationship between two players was not particularly impressive.
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Pat Nevin says Dan Burn and Anthony Gordon simply weren’t on the same page
Indeed, former Scotland winger Pat Nevin believes Dan Burn and Anthony Gordon were simply not on the same wave length during the game.
“Newcastle aren’t clicking,” he said at half-time (via BBC Sport’s LIVE blog at 18.47.)
“There’s not been a great understanding between Dan Burn and Anthony Gordon. You do need to get some service as a winger and a lot of your time it’s got to come from your full-back.”
Dan Burn in particular struggled on the ball
Admittedly, Burn was up against Samuel Chukwueze, who tore Bayern Munich apart while a Villarreal player in this competition last season.
Still, it was not his best night on the ball, albeit he did improve when Christian Pulisic came on as a replacement.
According to WhoScored data his passing accuracy stood at a rather lowly 62.5% (the joint-worst of any Newcastle player, along with Gordon) and no Newcastle defender took as many unsuccessful touches (3).
It wasn’t all bad of course and his five tackles were a team high for Eddie Howe’s men but the limitations on the ball were obvious.