Wed 25 Oct 2023, 22:30 · Ash Harrison

The bar, the rain and the ref: A tale of woe for Newcastle against Dortmund

The bar, the rain and the ref: A tale of woe for Newcastle against Dortmund
Newcastle United Football Club via X
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It wasn't meant to be tonight for Newcastle United as they fell to a 0-1 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League Group F.

Borussia Dortmund scored their first goal of the Champions League campaign tonight and it was enough for them to grab three points and leap above Newcastle in the Group F table with Paris Saint-Germain now topping the group after a win over AC Milan.

Newcastle found it tough against Dortmund tonight in a very wet St James' Park. Particularly in the first half, Dortmund were very up for it and they looked dangerous every time they went forward there always seemed to be at least one player in acres of space.

Alexander Isak's injury halted Newcastle's rhythm

Any rhythm Newcastle were building up was broken when Alexander Isak had to be taken off injured with a recurrence of his groin problem.

Anthony Gordon had Newcastle's best chance of the half but fired the ball into the chest of the Dortmund 'keeper.

The visitors took the lead in the 45th minute after a swift counter-attack resulted in Felix Nmecha - a player Newcastle looked at in the summer - in space to fire beyond Nick Pope, who had earlier made a sublime double save to keep the score level.

The second half was all Newcastle but clear-cut chances were few and far between. Callum Wilson, who replaced Alexander Isak in the first half could, and probably should have levelled things, but for another top save by Gregor Kobel.

Felix Nmecha
CREDIT: Focus Images Ltd/Ross Johnston
Felix Nmecha celebrates his goal against Newcastle

Howe's changes could have changed the game but fate had other ideas

Eddie Howe made a couple of changes bringing on Sandro Tonali for his final appearances before his ban starts, and Jacob Murphy who, in a lot of fans' eyes should have been on from the start.

Tonali looked fantastic which just really rubs it in just how much we're going to miss him, and Murphy lasted just three minutes before collapsing in a heap with a shoulder injury that looks pretty serious.

Joe Willock, who probably wasn't supposed to play any part given how he's only just returned to full training, came on and to be fair to him, looked really good.

Newcastle were twice denied by the crossbar

In the closing stages Newcastle hit the bar twice which just summed up the night for the Magpies.

Between the driving rain which really affected Newcastle's passing and especially Kieran Trippier's deliveries, the injuries that ruined the flow, the crossbar, and a ref who didn't have a clue what he was doing, it just wasn't Newcastle's night.

We go to Dortmund in two weeks where we will hopefully get to exact our revenge.