Ending a twenty-year hiatus from the UEFA Champions League, Newcastle United were billed as certain underdogs against Paris Saint-Germain – but regardless, the atmosphere across the city was fervent as the Toon Army anticipated the arrival of some of the continent’s brightest stars.
NEW: Pope; Burn, Schär, Lascelles, Trippier; Tonali, Guimarães, Longstaff; Gordon, Isak, Almirón
PSG: Donnarumma; Hernández, Skriniar, Marquinhos, Hakimi; Ugarte, Zaïre-Emery; Kolo Muani, Mbappé, Dembélé; Ramos
Transformed into an atmospheric cauldron almost thirty minutes before the action commenced at St James’ Park, the Toon Army found themselves celebrating the most unlikely result after just seventeen minutes when Miguel Almirón slammed home the opener after Gianluigi Donnarumma’s halfhearted parry.
But the celebrations would continue throughout the course of the evening, and when Dan Burn hit a thunderous headed effort past PSG’s Italian shotstopper just before the break, it looked as though Eddie Howe’s side would really stand a chancer of upsetting the French giants.Embed from Getty Images
And Newcastle United weren’t done there. Just five minutes into the second half, Sean Longstaff added their third goal of the evening – with Donnarumma once again failing to impress as PSG’s defensive frailties were exposed.
But alas, a little over five minutes later, Paris Saint-Germain did reduce the deficit. A rare foray forwards ended in a goal, with Lucas Hernández claiming the credits – although it would prove to be nothing more than a consolation on night utterly dominated by the Northern hosts.
Deep inside stoppage time, Fabian Schär restored the three-goal buffer, curling a phenomenal strike around Donnarumma from the edge of the penalty area to ensure Newcastle United sit at the top of their UEFA Champions League group.