Newcastle United drew 0-0 with AC Milan in their first Champions League game in 20 years, but almost snatched a late victory.
The Magpies did a lot of defending at the San Siro, whilst they struggled to be an attacking force in the Champions League opener.
However, Newcastle did have one opening, and it came very late in the day. With the game stretched, Eddie Howe’s side managed to create an opportunity.
Elliot Anderson picked out Sean Longstaff on the edge of the box. The two Geordies combined, handing Longstaff a sight of goal.
He fired an effort towards goal, but it was narrowly tipped over the bar by AC Milan goalkeeper Marco Sportiello, who had replaced Mike Maignan in the 81st minute.
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It was Newcastle’s only real chance, and it looked perfectly set up for a snatch and grab. But Longstaff was denied another famous goal, having been the man to send the Magpies’ to the Carabao Cup final earlier this year.
Longstaff played brilliantly against AC Milan
But away from his late miss, it was an outstanding performance from the 25-year-old. He was chosen to start in midfield alongside Bruno Guimaraes and Sandro Tonali, retaining his place in the side after the win against Brentford.
He grew into the game at the weekend, but massively rose to the occasion at the San Siro. It was Longstaff’s Champions League debut, and he looked like he belonged on the grand stage.
The midfielder used the ball well, broke up possession and worked his socks off – everything you would come to expect from the academy graduate.
The club’s rise over the past couple of years has been staggering. Seeing us compete in the Champions League is crazy, and it is even more crazy that we are doing it with Longstaff in the middle of the park.
But he was brilliant against AC Milan, and deserves the plaudits that are coming his way.
Newcastle fans react to Longstaff’s Champions League debut
After the game, plenty of Newcastle fans have praised Longstaff for his performance against AC Milan on Twitter.
“Special mention to Sean Longstaff tonight by the way. Best player on the park!,” wrote one fan.
A second added: “Sean Longstaff with a colossal performance there, on a stage that he worked so hard to appear on. Would die for the club.”
Another Toon supporter tweeted: “Man of the match: Sean Longstaff. Superb tonight from him. Most mature performance I’ve seen in a long time.”
“I Will absolutely take a point there. What a result!! Sean Longstaff take a bow son, what a performance,” another Newcastle fan wrote.
“Sean Longstaff was absolutely immense tonight. Massive result that, don’t care what anyone says. To come away to AC Milan and keep a clean sheet and take a point is superb. The effort and work the lads got through was top drawer too” added a fifth member of the Toon Army.
And finally, a sixth fan wrote: “Sean Longstaff was outstanding tonight. Man of the match for me he was everywhere.”