Kylian Mbappe, the French forward wearing jersey number 07 for Paris Saint-Germain, expressed his joy in an impressive manner following his vital goal in the UEFA Champions League first round, fifth day, Group F football game against Newcastle United on November 28, 2023. Mbappe’s goal arrived during the final moments of extra time, saving PSG from a defeat and securing a 1-1 draw, thereby preventing Newcastle from achieving a remarkable victory at the Parc des Princes.
The match was marked by controversy as the involvement of VAR resulted in a penalty being given to PSG due to a handball committed by Tino Lavramento. The ruling was delivered in a severe manner, granting the Ligue 1 champions the opportunity to equalize in the 98th minute. Newcastle had appeared destined for a win that would have given them control over their own destiny.
Luis Enrique’s team entered the match seeking vengeance for their 4-1 loss at St James’ Park earlier in the season. They began strongly, with Fabian Ruiz and Mbappe coming close to scoring. Nevertheless, it was Newcastle who took the lead after 24 minutes when Alexander Isak capitalized on Gianluigi Donnarumma’s fumble, scoring from the resulting rebound. Throughout the game, PSG faced difficulties in penetrating Newcastle’s defensive line, as goalkeeper Nick Pope showcased his skills with numerous remarkable saves. Despite appearing poised to secure a triumphant outcome, the visitors were ultimately denied victory due to the dramatic events surrounding a late penalty.
As a consequence of this result, Newcastle currently holds the third position in Group F, accumulating a total of five points. PSG occupies the second spot with seven points, while Borussia Dortmund, who have already advanced to the round of 16, lead the group standings with 10 points. AC Milan trails behind in fourth place with five points and a lower goal difference. Newcastle’s last game in Group F is scheduled to take place on December 13, where they will face AC Milan at their home stadium. To keep their hopes alive of advancing to the knockout stage, Newcastle will heavily rely on Dortmund’s victory over PSG.
The final match in the group stage against AC Milan presented a range of emotions for Newcastle. It is a situation that manager Eddie Howe would have eagerly embraced at the beginning of the Champions League journey, as it offered a chance to qualify. Despite the contentious penalty decision, Newcastle displayed remarkable strength and resolve. By relying on fortunate circumstances, they nearly achieved a remarkable triumph that would have given them control over their chances of qualification.
The verdict on the penalty has stirred intense responses from both experts and fans, leaving many with a sense of injustice towards Newcastle. It is a difficult situation for Howe and his team to accept, but they still have an opportunity to advance and will come together again for their final effort in the group finale next month.
Newcastle’s match was defined by Nick Pope’s exceptional performance. The goalkeeper delivered a commanding exhibition, producing a series of outstanding saves, notably a memorable one to thwart Mbappe and PSG. The Pope’s impressive display will undoubtedly enhance his likelihood of securing a spot in the England team once again, particularly with Euro 2024 approaching.
Ratings for the players:
PSG: Donnarumma 5, Hakimi 7, Skriniar 6, Danilo 6, Hernandez 7, Ruiz 7, Ugarte 6, Lee 7, Dembele 7, Kolo Muani 6, Mbappe 8. Substitutes: Vitinha 6, Barcola 6, Asensio not applicable, Ramos not applicable. In Newcastle, the players Pope, Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Livramento, Joelinton, Miley, Guimaraes, Almiron, Isak, and Gordon all performed well, each earning a rating of 8. Throughout the match, there were significant occurrences such as Fabian’s early opportunity for PSG, Isak successfully scoring a goal for Newcastle, and Pope making remarkable saves. Despite PSG’s persistent efforts, they were unable to make a significant advance until the contentious penalty ruling. In general, the game was an exhilarating spectacle that demonstrated the determination of Newcastle and the offensive skills of PSG. The outcome creates anticipation for the upcoming final match of Group F, as Newcastle remains in contention for qualification.