Kylian Mbappé scores from the spot in the final minute of injury time to save PSG from a defeat to a resolute Newcastle United side who almost came away with three points at the Parc des Princes. Alexander Isak opened proceedings in the first half, as Les Parisiens struggled to net in open play. PSG now face a crunch final away trip to Dortmund to determine their progression in the competition. Meanwhile, Newcastle keep their hopes of qualifying alive.
PSG started the game well, zipping the ball around with confidence and creating several chances within the first 17 minutes of the game – but a drop of intensity and a lack of focus costed Les Parisiens dear as the away side took a surprise lead on the 24th minute. Tino Livramento was dangerous with a mazy run and a pass which ended up at the feet of Anthony Gordon, whose shot was parried directly into the path of Alexander Isak. An easy tap-in for the Swedish international.
PSG looked to get back into the game, but the Magpies grew in confidence and stayed resolute to see out the lead to half-time, by far the happier of the two teams going into the break. PSG’s struggled with play in midfield, certainly looking like a midfield three who had never played together.
The second half saw PSG try and get back into the game, but oftentimes struggled to create clear-cut chances. Ousmane Dembélé was close one-on-one with Nick Pope who got down brilliantly to stop the Frenchman from poking home at close range. There were worrying signs for the home side, a lack of incision, and some loose passing started to creep into their game as Newcastle once again dug in and looked to hit on the counter attack, soaking up all Parisien pressure.
PSG boss Luis Enrique had to change something. Kolo Muani was replaced by Bradley Barcola as Manuel Ugarte made a switch for Vitinha, with Mbappé moving to the central striker position. Barcola looked a threat, but missed two chances to put Les Parisiens level. It was then Dembélé’s turned to spurn a golden chance at the near post on the 80th minute, with the hosts dominating possession but not able to finish their chances.
As the game reached its final 15, Enrique rolled the dice once again – bringing on Gonçalo Ramos and Marco Asensio to try and drag PSG out of the one-goal deficit. Kylian Mbappé should have made the most of his chance to net on the rebound, yet Pope’s goal remained unharmed. A potential handball was waved away by the referee as time was running out for PSG to level proceedings.
The pivotal moment came in injury time, as PSG threw everything they had at the Newcastle goal-mouth. VAR got involved once more and this time a penalty – albeit controversial – was given in the home side’s favour. Newcastle’s Livramento was adjudged to have handled the ball in an unnatural position, despite the ball deflecting off the defender’s chest before contact was made. Captain Kylian Mbappé stepped up and made no mistake from the spot, as PSG now face a trip to Dortmund to try and earn qualification to the knockout stage of the Champions League.
PSG PLAYER RATINGS:
Gianluigi Donnarumma, 4
Achraf Hakimi, 5
Milan Skriniar, 4
Danilo Perierra, 4
Lucas Hernandez, 5
Fabian Ruiz, 4
Manuel Ugarte, 4 – The Uruguayan was subbed off on the hour mark, and it capped of a combative but ultimately fruitless outing for the midfielder. His physicality and tackling ability was needed against a physically intense Newcastle side, but he seemed overrun by the power that Joelinton and Guimaraes offered.
Lee Kang-In , 5 – The South Korean started in midfield for PSG for the first time – but much like much of PSG’s midfield – looked out of touch and not in synergy with his midfield partners. He was moved to a slightly wider position in the second half, but was far away from his performance against Milan previously in the Champions League.
Ousmane Dembélé, 5 – By far PSG’s most dangerous threat down that right side, he picked up the ball in the half spaces and in typical Dembélé fashion drove the ball with some incisive dribbling but not quite the finishing polish he added during AS Monaco in Ligue 1 last Friday.
Kylian Mbappé, 4 – After an ineffective first half, the Frenchman moved from the left to the central striker position. His link-up play with Barcola was an improvement on his first half performance, but a far cry from the levels you would expect from the France captain, who captained the side in the absence of Marquinhos. He did, however, rise to the occasion when it mattered to score from the spot to level proceedings.
Randal Kolo Muani, 3 – A difficult evening for the Bondy-born attacker, wasn’t present and didn’t get into many attacking positions in the first half. The second half proved much the same, justifying a substitution on the 60th minute.
Others: Bradley Barcola 5, Vitinha, 5 Gonçalo Ramos,
SELECTED NEWCASTLE PLAYER RATINGS:
Tino Livramento, 6
Alexander Isak, 6
Anthony Gordon, 6
GFFN | George Boxall – from the Parc des Princes