<a href="https://www.thenationalnews.com/tags/newcastle-united/" target="_blank">Newcastle United</a> marked their return to the Champions League after a two-decade absence with a hard-fought 0-0 draw with AC Milan at San Siro on Tuesday. The Group F opener saw the Serie A club waste numerous opportunities. Milan winger Rafael Leao kept the Newcastle defence busy and had his best opportunity in the 34th minute when he miscued a backheel after skipping past two defenders. He was also wasteful in the second half, firing a header over the bar after Alessandro Florenzi found him with a perfect cross. The visitors' attacking efforts were limited to counter-attacks and the English side recorded just one shot on target. Eddie Howe's Newcastle will be the happier of the two sides to earn a point after being on the back foot for the vast majority of the match. Milan should have won after wasting a string of chances, particularly in the first half, and dominating the play on Sandro Tonali's return to his old stomping ground after being sold to Newcastle in July. The Premier League side started brightly but almost came undone following a 10-minute siege of their goal by Milan. The first to try his luck was Tommaso Pobega from distance. Pope comfortably parried that snapshot but the ball was crossed back in for a header by Samu Chukwueze, which the Newcastle goalkeeper parried at his near post. The Newcastle goal was almost breached in the 34th minute when Leao jinked his way into the area before tripping over his own feet when seemingly attempting a backheel finish. Pobega managed to get a shot away but it was cleared off the line by Jacob Murphy. Christian Pulisic was brought on in the 61st minute along with Tijjani Reijnders, who almost had an immediate impact but his effort was weak and easy for Pope to save. Florenzi whipped in a great cross from the right in the 74th minute but Leao's flying header went just over the bar. Milan's frustration grew after seeing goalkeeper Mike Maignan and midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek go off injured. "We’re disappointed, because when you play like this, you have to win," Milan manager Stefano Pioli said. "The performance was all-round good, but we wanted to win. Our aim is to progress from this group and we wanted to start well. We didn't take easy chances." The Magpies were understandably relieved at the result. "It was emotional. We take this draw and point, a point we fought to get and we're happy about," said Newcastle midfielder Tonali.