Newcastle hero Alan Shearer insists the Magpies deserved to lose to Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League on Tuesday night. But his view clashed with the opinion of Newcastle manager Eddie Howe, who thought his side had enough chances to get something out of the game. Felix Nmecha struck the only goal of the night at the end of the first half at St James’ Park as the visitors ran out 1-0 winners.
“You can’t say it was a fluke,” Shearer told BBC Radio 5 Live. “Dortmund might have been lucky once or twice in the last 10 minutes when it hit the bar, but they defended so well. They have played Newcastle really well and played the crowd really well. They were such a threat on the break.”
The former England striker added: “If Newcastle are honest then I think they’ll accept they didn’t deserve anything from the game. With the form Newcastle have been [in] and the amount of goals they’ve been scoring, we were expecting that again this evening but it never really happened. Dortmund didn’t allow them to get a foot in the game.”
However, Howe disagreed as he told TNT Sports: “We grew into the game in the second half with the chances we created and the woodwork denied us. I don’t think we deserved to lose today.”
Newcastle returned to Champions League action as they looked to build on their 0-0 draw against AC Milan at the San Siro and their 4-1 home thrashing of Paris Saint-Germain earlier in the season. But as the rain poured down at St James’ Park, the north east giants were unable to find the same intensity they had mustered in those showdowns.
The home side did have chances to clinch at least a point, however, as Anthony Gordon was twice denied by Dortmund keeper Gregor Kobel in the second half, with Callum Wilson also having an effort kept out. Wilson also saw a header hit the crossbar, before Gordon struck the frame of the goal in the closing stages.
“I thought they played well and there are always two teams to every game so I think we have to give them credit,” Howe added as he spoke to NUFC TV. “In the second half I thought we were a lot better. I thought we played with more control ourselves, I thought we created the chances that we wanted to. It was one of those days where the ball wouldn’t go in for us.
“In that moment today the ball just wouldn’t drop. The chances that we had in the second half, you just hope one of those goes in – but it just wasn’t to be. And we have to accept the result, we have to own the performance.”