- Paris Saint-Germain held Newcastle United to a 1-1 draw in Champions League Group F.
- The draw denied the Magpies maybe their greatest-ever European triumph in controversial circumstances.
Paris Saint-Germain held Newcastle United to a 1-1 draw in Champions League Group F, denying the Magpies maybe their greatest-ever European triumph in controversial circumstances.
The French champions constantly put pressure on Eddie Howe’s ravaged squad, but the Magpies’ resolute defense caused them endless frustration, and Alexander Isak’s goal in the first half would seemingly prove to be the game-winning one.
The visitors’ hopes of winning were brutally dashed by Kylian Mbappe, who scored a dubious penalty in the seventh minute of extra time for a handball against Tino Livramento.
The visiting supporters had a difficult time keeping up with the lightning-fast Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele on the flanks during the first ten minutes at the Parc des Princes, as their team hardly left their own half.
In the ninth minute, the former had a great opportunity to break the deadlock as he surged forward to meet Achraf Hakimi’s low ball into the area, but his improvised flick went straight to Nick Pope’s foot.
In the 12th minute, Hakimi came dangerously close to helping Newcastle after almost setting up Mbappe. He sent the ball to Miguel Almiron and then the Paraguayan squared for Isak at the near post, but the Swede wildly overshot the goal.
Hakimi was not helped by a dubious pass from Gianluigi Donnarumma, and PSG’s keeper was once again in the limelight in the 25th minute as Newcastle took an unexpected lead thanks to another Almiron-Isak connection, although a more unusual one.
The movement was spearheaded by twenty-one-year-old Livramento, who danced past challenges to drive into a central position on the outside of the box and lay off Almiron. Donnarumma parried Almiron’s curling effort into Isak’s path, and the Newcastle marksman finished the job from close range.
PSG had a few opportunities to tie the score, but they were squandered by Howe’s players’ outstanding possession defense. In the 32nd minute, Pope had to stop Dembele from going low, and Kieran Trippier stopped Mbappe from scoring on the rebound.
Before Mbappe cut back for Dembele in the last act of the half, Fabian Ruiz also fired a speculative volley straight into Pope’s arms in the 44th minute. However, as Newcastle headed into the changing rooms with a lead, the former Barcelona player’s first-time strike cannoned off the shoulder of an unwary Fabian Schar.
Newcastle therefore started the second half extremely cautiously, knowing that PSG’s firepower off the bench much outmatched theirs. However, Pope continued to get excellent cover from the black and white shirts in front of him.
But in the 66th minute, the Englishman was forced into action as Mbappe easily past Schar on the right and crossed for Bradley Barcola. However, a second later, the 21-year-old was prevented by an incredible reaction stop from Pope’s knee before shooting wide of the near post.
After Barcola’s double chance, PSG’s previously lackluster attack came to life. They started attacking at every chance and called for two spot kicks: the first for what they believed to be an Anthony Gordon shove on Hakimi before the ball hit Lewis Miley’s arm, but neither Szymon Marciniak nor the VAR room found anything wrong with either incident.
In the final moments, Newcastle were confined to their own half, but PSG wasted another excellent opportunity during a counterattack in the 82nd minute when Dembele curled a shot wide of the near post following good work from Lucas Hernandez on the left.
It was Mbappe’s turn to attempt to break the Magpies’ resistance again five minutes later, but the World Cup champion fired a close-angle effort that went right into Pope’s stomach and the rebound narrowly missed the far post.
Barcola sent a shot high and wide at the back post during the first of the eight extra minutes Enrique’s team had to find a way through, but controversy reared its ugly head in the seventh.
Following a quick glance at the monitor, Marciniak indicated the spot after a Dembele delivery struck Livramento’s chest and bounced into the right-back’s elbow.
Although Pope had played flawlessly throughout the game, he was powerless to stop Mbappe’s vicious penalty kick into the net, as PSG had a two-point advantage over the dejected Magpies in the Group F rankings.