Barcelona 3 Newcastle 1
Without the suspended Alan Shearer and Craig Bellamy, Newcastle turned out a young side with an average age of just 24, and they needed to grow up quickly.
Youthful inexperience quickly showed when the Magpies fell behind after just seven minutes.
A wayward pass from Lomana Lua Lua was seized upon by Xavi whose delightful cross from the right saw Dani at full stretch direct his shot beyond Shay Given.
Many would then have predicted an avalanche but instead Newcastle took the game to Barcelona.
Laurent Robert saw a goalbound effort blocked by Roberto Bonano and the keeper then managed to hang on to Nolberto Solano's follow-up shot.
But Newcastle were not to be denied and were level in the 24th minute when a surging run from Solano picked out Kieron Dyer to feed Shola Ameobi and the youngster finished with some style.
The England Under-21 international was a handful all night and could easily have finished up with a hat-trick.
Barcelona regained the lead in the 35th minute. The move was set up by chief tormentor Marc Overmars who found fellow Dutchman Patrick Kluivert to fire in his 100th goal for the Catalan side.
Newcastle pressed forward in the second half and Ameobi headed a Solano corner inches wide with keeper Bonano stranded.
Ameobi went even closer after 56 minutes with another header from a Solano cross that was cleared off the line by Juan Riquelme.
However, all that good work went to waste on the hour mark when the Brazilian Thiago Motta saw his header just cross the line before it was cleared by the casual Dyer who was leaning against a post.
This was the killer moment as it came at a time when Newcastle appeared the more likely side to score.
Bonano then pulled off a stunning save to deny the tireless Ameobi while in the closing minutes Kluivert had two good chances to extend Barcelona’s lead.