Kylian Mbappé left the field and headed directly into the tunnel in Newcastle-upon-Tyne, England, after Paris Saint-Germain’s disappointing 4-1 Champions League loss to Newcastle United. St. James’ Park erupted in jubilation as the stadium patiently awaited this moment for 20 years. He disappeared with a plainly unsatisfied frown.
Season 2023-24 Champions League is still unclear because it’s in the early stages if PSG or Newcastle will advance from Group F. The environment around the two squads, though, couldn’t be more dissimilar.
Newcastle is relishing their comeback to the Champions League after a long absence since the 2002-03 season. They have made a strong statement with a convincing win against PSG in their first home match and a respectable 0-0 draw against AC Milan two weeks earlier. As a result, they are currently leading their group. On the other hand, PSG, despite their victory over Borussia Dortmund in the opening game, seems to be facing difficulties and is far from resembling a team capable of winning the prestigious tournament, which has always been a major goal for the club’s Qatari owners.
The spectators ensured that the momentum didn’t drop off in the second half. The PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma was beaten by Sean Longstaff’s third goal five minutes into the second half, driving the Newcastle supporters into a frenzy.
PSG experienced a brief moment of hope when Lucas Hernandez scored an unexpected goal, but Newcastle quickly dashed their optimism with Fabian Schar’s fourth goal in stoppage time. This remarkable victory propelled Newcastle to the top of Group F, one point ahead of PSG in second place. It was a significant setback for PSG as they suffered their heaviest defeat in the Champions’ League group stage since their 3-0 loss to Chelsea in September 2004. Additionally, it was the first time since their 3-4 defeat to Deportivo La Coruna in March 2001 that PSG conceded four goals in a single group match.
Eddie Howe, the head coach of Newcastle, expressed his happiness for the team and the football team, saying it was a wonderful experience for everyone involved. In addition to praising the tactical combat between the two teams, he acknowledged the crowd with disturbing PSG. Howe said that they did not expect to score four goals.
PSG arrived in Newcastle with an underwhelming Ligue 1 record and a terrible Champions League past that included five losses in their previous seven matches against English opponents. They were outmatched by the French champions right on and managed just one chance on goal in the first half, which hasn’t happened to them in a Champions League group-stage encounter since November 2013.
Newcastle eventually gained control of the match with the passionate backing of the audience in the inclement weather. The enthusiasm at St James’ Park was amplified when Miguel Almiron scored their first goal in the tournament since Alan Shearer, who holds the record for most goals scored in the Premier League. Chris Burn came up with a powerful header that Donnarumma was unable to stop, but the goal was finally scored after a protracted VAR review.
Although Donnarumma should have done better, Longstaff’s goal moved Newcastle one step closer to a historic triumph. PSG had an opportunity to make a comeback after Hernandez’s header off of a cross from Warren Zaire-Emery.
Apart from Nick Pope’s safe to stop an Ousmane Dembele shot, PSG didn’t pose much of a threat to Newcastle’s goal. The cherry on top for the ecstatic hosts was Schar’s fantastic long-range shot.
The PSG coach, Luis Enrique, said that his squad had problems with their pressing style and accepted responsibility for the evening’s outcome. He acknowledged making reckless errors that were unacceptable at this level of competition.
In the other encounter of the group on Wednesday, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund drew 0-0 in Germany. This was Milan’s second consecutive draw in the first two Champions League matches.
To advance from a Champions League group, you must win your home games and pick up a few points away from home. With the help of this tactic, Newcastle was able to defeat one of the top contenders at home while retaining a point at the San Siro. They have an excellent chance of making it to the tournament’s knockout rounds as a consequence.
It’s highly probable that PSG will secure their qualification for the next stage of the Champions League, but it’s doubtful whether they will make significant progress beyond that point. However, Newcastle, with their strong team spirit and the passionate support from the St. James’s Park crowd, has the potential to embark on an exhilarating Champions League journey that could take them deep into the tournament.