- Newcastle were beaten 1-0 by Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League
- Former English youth star and current German international Felix Nmecha scored a goal
- Follow the latest news from Mail Sport Champions League WhatsApp channel for all current news
Newcastle suffered their first defeat of their Champions League campaign as they lost 1-0 to Borussia Dortmund at St James’ Park.
Eddie Howe’s side had announced their return to Europe’s elite club competition with a draw against AC Milan and a memorable 4-1 win over PSG, but fell short on Tuesday evening.
After Alexander Isak limped off the pitch after just 15 minutes with a leg injury, they suffered an early setback before Felix Nmecha gave Dortmund a 1-0 lead after a counterattack just before half-time.
Newcastle huffed and puffed, but the German team held firm, secured an important win and overtook their opponents.
Mailsport’s DAVID COVERDALE was at St James’ Park and looks at some things you may have missed from Tuesday’s game.
Newcastle suffered a 1-0 defeat to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday
The former England youth star steals the show
With six England players in Newcastle’s starting XI and a seventh – Callum Wilson – coming on as a 15th-minute substitute, it was a wonder Gareth Southgate wasn’t at St James’ Park.
The Three Lions coach also missed the opportunity to check on Jamie Bynoe-Gittens, the 19-year-old England Under-21 winger who was on Dortmund’s bench.
But the biggest impression on Wednesday night was made by a player who managed to escape Southgate.
Hamburg-born but Manchester-raised midfielder Felix Nmecha played for England at U16, U17 and U19 levels before making his senior German debut in March.
And he showed the Three Lions what they were missing with a superb first-half goal that had echoes of the Englishman he replaced at Dortmund in the summer, Jude Bellingham.
Former English youth star and current German international Felix Nmecha scored the winning goal
Newcastle fans say goodbye to Tonali… for now
Sandro Tonali, who started Newcastle’s last two Champions League games, was only substituted after 65 minutes before his expected 10-month ban for illegal betting.
The Toon Army loudly sang the name of their £52million Italian midfielder when he replaced Sean Longstaff, just as they did when he came on as a substitute against Crystal Palace last weekend.
However, these fans are unlikely to see Tonali again this season with his lengthy ban expected to be confirmed on Thursday.
Sandro Tonali was substituted ahead of his expected 10-month ban for illegal betting
Geordie’s holiday day misstep
There are only two weeks left until these teams meet again in Dortmund. Only one red-faced Toon fan believed the away game had taken place last night.
Hapless supporter Paul Draper traveled to Germany and posted pictures on social media on Wednesday of himself smiling outside Signal Induna Park before realizing his monumental mistake. “Yeah, let’s go to Dortmund and watch them play Newcastle, great idea,” he wrote on Facebook. “Too bad it’s in St. James’ Park!”
More unsavory scenes between fans
Newcastle’s return to the Champions League was not without problems off the pitch.
There were unsavory scenes on Wednesday evening as Dortmund fans were escorted by police from the city center to St James’ Park, with punches and bottles being thrown between the two groups of fans. It follows a similar skirmish when Paris Saint-Germain played here three weeks ago. When Newcastle visited AC Milan last month, a Toon fan was stabbed to death by a group of knife-wielding locals the night before the game.
Les tips Eddie to lead Class 96
Les Ferdinand believes Eddie Howe’s Newcastle side will surpass Geordie legend Kevin Keegan’s Entertainers.
The former striker was part of the Toon team that finished second in the Premier League in 1996 under Keegan – who Howe met for the first time this week.
But speaking as a TNT Sports pundit at St James’ Park, Ferdinand said: “When I played here they called us the entertainers and I think the boys here are going to overtake that now.”
“This group of players will now give them something else to talk about.” “People want to watch them because it’s exciting to score so many goals.”
Former Newcastle favorite Les Ferdinand (right – working pitchside for TNT Sports) believes Eddie Howe’s Newcastle side will surpass Geordie legend Kevin Keegan’s Entertainers
The German press feels at home
With bratwursts served in the media canteen, the German press representatives felt at home in St. James’ Park. It follows the Beef Bourguignon which was on the menu when Paris Saint-Germain visited Tyneside three weeks ago.
Such thoughtful catering is a far cry from the days of former owner Mike Ashley, who once stopped all free food for journalists, resulting in former player and coach Terry McDermott turning up with a large bag of baked goods from Greggs.