Newcastle’s arrival in Milan was delayed by a storm, and Stefano Pioli faced one of his own in the Italian press following his side’s humiliation against Inter Milan. However, there were still no signs of either team being blown away in an even start.
However, the Rossoneri were the first to spark into life, with Tommaso Pobega and Rade Krunić forcing Nick Pope into saves with efforts from range before the goalkeeper reacted well to tip Theo Hernandez’s header over.
The Magpies had held their own throughout all of that, but lived dangerously after the half-hour mark, as Olivier Giroud could only find the side netting after Hernandez had broken behind.
Rafael Leao then made a complete mess of his attempted backheel after dancing through the box. Jacob Murphy also cleared Pobega’s shot off the line before curling an effort of his own off-target at the other end.
Both teams struggled to show the quality required to edge ahead after the break, with Murphy and Alessandro Florenzi wastefully firing wide.
Eddie Howe showed his intent by making two attacking changes shortly after the hour mark, although it was Milan substitute Tijjani Reijnders who threatened with a mazy run before eventually seeing his tame shot saved.
Leao came the closest of anyone when his flying header from Florenzi’s cross eventually settled on the roof of Pope’s net, and then Kieran Trippier made a brave block to deny Christian Pulisic’s powerful strike.
After Mike Maignan had gone off injured, his replacement Marco Sportiello tipped Sean Longstaff’s late effort over to ensure Milan have now only lost one of their last six home Champions League matches against non-Milanese sides – something they will likely need to continue if they are to progress.
Newcastle, meanwhile, went a fifth competitive away match without a win, but could take plenty of positives from a well-earned point in their first match in the much-styled ‘Group of Death’.