Newcastle 0-1 Borussia Dortmund: Champions League reality check for Eddie Howe’s side

  • By Phil McNulty
  • Chief soccer author at St James’ Park

Image supply, Getty Images

Image caption,

Newcastle had been unbeaten in 9 video games previous to dropping towards Borussia Dortmund

This was the dampest of damp nights on Tyneside, with a torrential cloudburst delivering a freezing chilly bathe throughout Newcastle United’s Champions League aspirations.

The Toon Army rolled up from the town centre into St James’ Park fuelled by the elation of a superb begin in hazardous Group F, a draw towards AC Milan in San Siro adopted by a spectacular win over Paris St-Germain that represented an exhilarating homecoming after twenty years away from the event.

Emotions had been in sharp distinction right here on Wednesday night time although, as Newcastle’s gamers and followers trooped away on the last whistle rain-sodden, bedraggled and crushed after Borussia Dortmund gave them a lesson within the harsh realities of the Champions League.

Newcastle supervisor Eddie Howe has no have to panic after one loss – that might be ridiculous – however there isn’t any doubt life has all of the sudden acquired a complete lot more durable. The optimism that was rampant when PSG and Kylian Mbappe had been despatched packing in that 4-1 thrashing has been changed by an actual sense of jeopardy.

The sensible cash would nonetheless be on PSG profitable the group, regardless of the defeat at Newcastle, so it’s a bitter setback that Newcastle misplaced to Borussia Dortmund, growing the importance of their assembly in Germany on 7 November.

Newcastle didn’t play badly towards the Germans and so they can look again on missed alternatives, particularly when Anthony Gordon was thwarted twice by Dortmund keeper Gregor Kobel within the first half.

They got here even nearer after the break when Kobel blocked an effort from substitute Callum Wilson – a first-half alternative for the injured Alexander Isak – with the England striker then hitting the bar with a header earlier than Gordon’s shot was deflected on to the woodwork with seconds left.

For all this, the Bundesliga side had alternatives of their very own, particularly when Nick Pope made a powerful double save from Donyell Malen and Niclas Fullkrug within the first half when each appeared sure to attain.

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Image caption,

Newcastle United’s goalkeeper Nick Pope has conceded two targets in three Champions League appearances

There was at all times a way that Dortmund simply had a bit an excessive amount of nous for Newcastle. This is a membership that has been across the Champions League block many extra occasions than Howe’s side, who’re rookies at this degree – and it confirmed.

The German group is probably not fairly working on the rarefied degree they’ve previously relating to the Champions League, however in individuals like Mats Hummels and Marco Reus they’ve people with many miles on the clock and had been a bit extra street-wise than Newcastle.

‘Reality check’ was the phrase on many lips.

Newcastle couldn’t recapture the depth that proved an excessive amount of for PSG. The snap was not there in a sport performed out in a deluge for essentially the most half.

Indeed, it was the guests who began extra shortly, clearly decided to place a marker down that they’d not be unnerved or cowed by a spectacular pre-match show of flags and a wall of noise inside St James’ Park.

They play in a particular ambiance of their very own at Signal Iduna Park, and this important victory was performed out to a continuous soundtrack of singing from the colorful travelling followers.

Image supply, Getty Images

Image caption,

Dortmund acquired their first win of this Champions League marketing campaign at Newcastle

Edin Terzic’s side had threatened earlier than the decisive second on the stroke of half-time when Felix Nmecha – who was linked with Newcastle in the summertime – steered a composed right-foot end previous Pope after superb work by Nico Schlotterbeck.

Newcastle had been additionally disrupted by an early recurrence of Isak’s groin harm whereas an try to inject recent impetus within the form of Jacob Murphy midway via the second half lasted solely 5 minutes earlier than he went off with a shoulder harm.

This was merely not Newcastle’s night time.

Newcastle will hope they don’t look again on it as a giant alternative missed, as a result of a win right here would have put them in prime place to succeed in the final 16 – however they had been in need of their greatest and paid the value.

Sandro Tonali made a 25-minute cameo and followers will probably be questioning if it is likely to be his last look for fairly a while, with the membership fearing a protracted ban for alleged breaches of Italian betting laws. There was the sniff of a narrative and a farewell contribution when he got here on to a really heat reception, but it surely was to not be.

For all of the frantic finale that just about noticed Newcastle snatch a valuable level, this was an evening that fell flat after the keenness of the victory towards PSG.

It was a humid squib for the bulk at St James’ Park, the agony after the Champions League ecstasy of the earlier sport. There is, although, one other chapter on this story in two weeks’ time.

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