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‘He was impeccable’: Micah Richards wowed by Newcastle United player’s display v AC Milan


Micah Richards says Nick Pope’s performance for Newcastle United during their goalless draw against AC Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday night was ‘impeccable’.

The 31-year-old kept an eager and dangerous AC Milan side at bay at the San Siro, with the home team very keen to put the 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Inter from the weekend behind them.

It was actually a positive start for Eddie Howe’s Newcastle, but as soon as the Italian giants got their engines going, it started to become one-sided.

AC Milan banged and banged on Newcastle’s door, but Nick Pope stood firm in between the sticks, with Richards calling him ‘outstanding’, as he told CBS Sports on Paramount+ (19/09/23 at 10:10 pm).

In the end, the England international, who was dropped from Gareth Southgate’s latest squad, saved nine shots, including a number of close-range efforts from the likes of Olivier Giroud in the first half.

For your first Champions League game in two decades, away from home, at the San Siro, and against last season’s Champions League semi-finalists, then this is a very good start from Newcastle.

AC Milan v Newcastle United FC: Group F - UEFA Champions League 2023/24
Photo by Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

Man of the Match, Nick Pope

“But Pope’s saves,” said Richards. “AC Milan had 25 shots and Pope made 8 crucial saves.

“We have been banging on about him in England and how good he is with his shot-stopping, and he proved his worth.

“He is just big, he has got that presence, he commands his area and he had an outstanding game. He had to. Away in Milan. He knew it was going to be tough.

“We know he isn’t the best on the ball. But he makes the right decisions, at the right moment and I thought he was impeccable.”

micah richards
Photo by Michael Regan – The FA/The FA via Getty Images

Nick Pope has to return to England set-up

Argue all you want about who should be England’s number one. But, one thing is for sure, Pope needs to be at St Geroges’ Park for the next set of international fixtures.

There shouldn’t be any reason why Gareth Southgate doesn’t see Pope as a top-three England goalkeeper.

The under-fire England boss makes some ridiculous decisions, but this one is certainly up there.

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