EX-York City goalkeeper Nick Pope was the star of the show as Newcastle United began their UEFA Champions League campaign with a goalless draw against AC Milan at the San Siro.

The hosts were utterly dominant throughout, registering 25 attempts to the Magpies’ six, as they returned to the competition following a 20-year absence, the hosts' most in a Champions League tie without scoring since 2005.

Pope’s clean sheet was his second in four days following Saturday’s Premier League shutout against Brentford.

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But whilst he was able to better his previous performance at the iconic venue - England’s 1-0 defeat to Italy in the UEFA Nations League last September - he has played down personal praise.

Speaking to the Chronicle Live, he admitted that he was “so proud” that his team had claimed their first Champions League point despite being under pressure for the majority of the contest.

“It’s a difficult place to come and it was also a quick turnaround from the weekend,” he explained. “But I am really proud of the boys for what they gave on and off the ball.

“They protected my goal. Obviously we couldn’t get the goal at the other end but it was a tremendous effort.”

York Press: Pope was equal to everything that came his way in an outstanding display at the San Siro.Pope was equal to everything that came his way in an outstanding display at the San Siro. (Image: Owen Humphreys/PA Wire)

31-year-old Pope kept 12 clean sheets for the Minstermen on loan from Charlton Athletic as they reached the Sky Bet League Two play-offs at the end of the 2013/14 season before their Semi-Final defeat to Fleetwood Town.

And following the match, Newcastle manager Eddie Howe described everything about the goalkeeper as “top drawer”.

“He was a giant for us tonight,” he told NUFC TV. “But I think he has been ever since he signed.

"He’s been an incredible shot stopper. His personality, everything is top drawer about Nick and he’s so important to us when he plays like that. 

“He’s a very tough man to score against and we’re going to need him in this competition.”