The Magpies stun Les Parisiens in a decisive Champions League routing which is Paris Saint-Germain’s worst in the QSI era in the competition at the group stage. Almiron struck first thanks to a Marquinhos mistake, before goals from Burn, Longstaff, and Shär capped off a disastrous evening for PSG. Hernandez with the consolation goal for Enrique’s side.
Luis Enrique started the match with a surprise 4-2-4 formation, lining up with four attackers. But this experimentation in the high-pressure environment of the Champions League didn’t pay off, and it was the high-pressing Magpies that took full advantage as quickly as the 15th minute. Marquinhos’ wayward pass was headed into Isak, and the Swede’s strike was diverted to Miguel Almiron who finished low to score Newcastle’s first goal in the Champions League in 20 years. Cue the St James’ Park eruption and an energy which pushed Eddie Howe’s side that little bit further in the opening stages of the game.
The Toon had more to cheer about on the 40th minute, after some relentless pressure from Newcastle saw Gianluigi Donnarumma called on for several saves in a row, but Dan Burn rose highest with a towering header that was saved by the Italian shot stopper but clearly passed the goal line. A long VAR check ensued to check for offside and a claim for handball – a difficult decision with both Almiron and Achraf Hakimi seemingly handling the ball. The goal was given to Newcastle as the Premier League side entered with a deserved two-goal lead.
PSG were stunned, with very little in terms of clear chances in the first half. France captain Kylian Mbappé looked absent, with fellow Bondy attacker Randal Kolo Muani also struggling to find involvement in Enrique’s new-look front four. Yet, the Spaniard stuck with the experiment at the outset of the second half.
It didn’t take long for Newcastle to extend their lead further, with Almiron playing an inside through-ball for Sean Longstaff, whose low central strike fell under the body of Donnarumma on its way into the back of the net.
A disaster-class up until that point, PSG managed to claw one goal back through Lucas Hernandez, who was spotted perfectly by Warren Zaïre-Emery with a floated ball and the former Bayern Munich man nodding past Nick Pope.
Yet PSG’s efforts to get back into the contest were in vain. The ball was once again recovered well by Newcastle’s high press and out of possession positioning, and this time it was Fabien Schär who unleashed an unstoppable strike past Donnarumma to seal the affair for the Geordies.
PARIS SAINT GERMAIN
Hakimi , 4
Marquinhos, 3 – Bad moments just keep turning up in the Champions League for the Brazilian. The PSG captain was at fault for Newcastle’s opener – setting the tone for a nervy performance at the back for Les Parisiens.
L. Hernandez, 4
Zaïre-Emery, 5 – Provided the floated assist for Hernandez and endeavoured to make the best out of what was an out-run PSG midfield. The youngster is always the star that keeps shining in difficult moments for Les Parisiens, and also became the youngest-ever Frenchman to register a Champions League assist.
Kolo Muani, 3
G. Ramos, 2
Mbappé, 3 – The France captain a shade of his former self for PSG, uncharacteristically passive and a poor work-rate to match. His body-language was telling, a player who is not at his physical best paired with an all-round frustration.
Others: Vitinha, 5 & Barcola, 5
GFFN | George Boxall