Newcastle denied by Var as Champions League hopes left in tatters in Paris

PSG players surround the referee during their draw with Newcastle
PSG players surround the referee during their draw with Newcastle - Getty Images/Christophe Ena

There were so many opportunities along the way for Paris St-Germain to deny Newcastle United their finest European away win that it was a pity the great misfiring Parisians eventually took what turned out to be the wrong one.

Mishit shots, wild finishes, great saves from Nick Pope – had any one of them gone PSG’s way then it might all have made sense. It would have been simpler for Eddie Howe, his team and everyone else, to accept that for all the defiance this just was not Newcastle’s night. But that it was Var which gave PSG the clear route to the equaliser just meant that the magic of the Paris evening was punctured, after more than 100 minutes of thrilling European football.

The most one-sided of second halves was eventually decided by the weakest of penalty awards. Under the Uefa interpretation of handball – which is not the same as that in the Premier League – there was reason for the Polish Var Tomasz Kwiatkowski to send his compatriot Szymon Marciniak, the World Cup final referee, to the monitor. The strange laws that football has alighted upon, 160 years into the codification of the sport, meant that Mariniak saw a handball. A handball which, years before, would have been unthinkable (vote on whether you though it was penalty here).

The ball seemed to bounce off the chest of Tino Livramento and onto the elbow of the 21-year-old left-back, who had one of the games of his life. PSG’s xG – its expected goals relative to chances and game dominance – was 4.47. Although by the time Kylian Mbappé put the ball on the spot, PSG had scored zero real goals. Newcastle had made five completed passes since the 65th minute. Their goal, in the 25th minute from Alexander Isak, felt a lifetime ago

Here, in the 102nd minute of the game, PSG were on the brink of an equaliser they deserved – although not this way.

Mbappé scored, with what was the 30th PSG attempt on goal of 31 on the night. The draw felt right, although the tyranny of Var also made it feel like an injustice. There were some truly remarkable performances for Newcastle, notably Pope, Livramento and the 17-year-old Lewis Miley. There was not a single substitution from Howe, who had just five outfield players on the bench, and chose not to use any of them.

It was a night for resistance of the most extreme kind for Newcastle, and by the end of it they were just about holding the line outside their penalty area. Still this indomitable team of well-marshalled players were seconds from a win that would have propelled them into second place in the group. It would have made them the first club to do the group stage double over PSG since the Qatar Sport Investments takeover of 2012 and all the way back to the 2004-05 season.

The Champions League may not yet be over for Newcastle. They are two points behind PSG in third and the French side must win at Borussia Dortmund on Dec 13 to be sure of finishing ahead of Howe’s side. With their last Group F match against Milan, currently last in the table, Newcastle could yet get into second. More feasible is that they can secure third place when they face Milan at St James’ Park and a spot in the Europa League after Christmas is theirs.

This was still an unforgettable night for Howe’s players and the kind which will feel significant in years to come if they are to establish themselves in European competition. Even for a game that represented a collision of the giant global legacy investments of two Middle East state fossil fuel fortunes, it was at times possible simply to be lost in the drama of it all.

There were many moments when Newcastle looked vulnerable in the frantic battle to repel Mbappé, Ousmane Dembele and the rest. Yet there were also some great moments of defiance. Kieran Trippier accepted the mission of facing Mbappé on his own and the first tackle from the Englishman in that regard was a thing of beauty. The great Frenchman in full flow, arms chopping the air, feet flickering. Trippier lunged in with a boot and removed the ball in one surgical move.

Kieran Trippier (L) - Newcastle denied by Var as Champions League hopes left in tatters in Paris
Kieran Trippier (left) stopped Kylian Mbappé in his tracks with a wonderfully timed challenge - Getty Images/Harry Langer

The County Durham-born academy boy Miley pushed himself to the limits chasing down the creative elements of PSG’s midfield. The teenager kept checking over his shoulders to keep an eye on the fine little South Korean playmaker Kang-in Lee. When Newcastle finally looked overloaded in the left channel on 29 minutes, it was Miley who got over to block the shot from Lee. One thought Miley might get an hour and be withdrawn but he kept going and going, and Howe left him to it.

It was a stunning run from Livramento from the left-back position and across the face of the PSG area for the goal. He scattered the PSG defenders with a dribble that seemed on the brink of ending more than once but never quite did. Livramento found Miguel Almiron and Gianluigi Donnarumma’s weak save from the subsequent shot meant that it was pushed into the most dangerous part of the area. PSG’s defence was only just reclaiming its shape and there was Isak to conclude matters with the rebound.

Tino Livramento had a brilliant game in Paris and shone throughout
Tino Livramento had a brilliant game in Paris and shone throughout - Getty Images/Sebastian Frej

A glorious second half of PSG pressure and cussedness from Newcastle. This was Pope’s half with two astonishing saves, first from Dembele before the hour and then, when the substitute Bradley Barcola seemed certain to equalise, from him too. As the Parc des Princes urged its team on, Barcola kept finding himself in promising positions and kept getting it wrong.

Relatively speaking it was a quieter night for Anthony Gordon, although he looked the best hope stretching the PSG defence. That was Newcastle’s great failing – as the legs tired and the possession count sunk to empty they never could stretch PSG beyond one Gordon run that saw Milan Skriniar booked for his foul. Then finally Var intervened and at last the PSG equaliser was inevitable.

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Newcastle denied memorable win – as it happened

11:20 PM GMT

So close, but yet so far

Yet another match where all the talk is dominated by a refereeing/Var decision - c’est la vie.

Newcastle have every right to feel hard done by, but they still have a chance of making the knockout stages when they host AC Milan in their last group match.

Thanks for joining and hopefully see you here for more goals and doubtless some refereeing mayhem tomorrow.

10:49 PM GMT

Mbappe speaks to TNT Sports - 'You can be better side and not win'

On the result...

“It was hard, we had many chances but in football you can be better and not win, that’s what happened tonight.”

On their final match at Dortmund...

“In Dortmund we have to win because we want to top the group.”

I his own performance...

“I had many chances, but couldn’t score [until the penalty] which would have helped the team.”

On the team’s performance...

“ We had many chances, too many chances, we had nine or 10 clear [chances]. If we play like that in Dortmund we’ll be  fine.”

10:37 PM GMT

And the case for the opposition...

Always two sides to the story...

10:35 PM GMT

Here's a video of the controversial moment

One that denied Newcastle the win.

What are your thoughts?

10:32 PM GMT

Eddie Howe speaks to TNT Sports - 'I feel very flat'

On the penalty...

“I am still coming to terms with it. I feel very  flat but at the same time I am pleased with what the players did out there. There commitment and execution were brilliant, we ran out of luck at the end as didn’t think it was a penalty.”

More on the controversial decision...

“[The decision] doesn’t take into account how quick the ball moved. It hit is chest first and that’s the key thing, there isn’t a case if it hit another body part first and his hands are low...It’s frustrating. The pressure put on [by] the crowd was extreme... My inner thoughts are [best left unsaid] you’ve summed it better than I could.... I did think [the referee] was having a good game until then.”

On his team’s performance...

“We were tired and the players accepted we had to defend like our lives depended on it and they did...full credit to what the players did today.”

On heading into the last game against AC Milan...

“We’re still in it and can’t forget that...we still believe. We go back home against ta good AC Milan team and [hope to go through].”

10:20 PM GMT

Here are two pics of THE incident

10:18 PM GMT

There was an incident earlier in the game

That was exactly the same as the penalty that was given. The ball deflected onto Miley’s arm and Var decided it wasn’t a penalty. So not sure how the Livramento one was ultimately given.

10:16 PM GMT

Jenas is still apoplectic about the penalty

“It’s a deflection off his chest onto his arm, not in any walk of life is that a penalty...there’s a feeling that [Newcastle] have been cheated, they’ve been robbed, absolutely robbed.”

10:13 PM GMT

How Group F now looks

That penalty has changed things a bit...

  1. Borussia Dortmund 10 pts

  2. PSG 7 pts

  3. Newcastle 5 pts

  4. AC Milan 5 pts

So...Newcastle will have to beat AC Milan at home and hope PSG don’t win to reach the last 16.

10:08 PM GMT

Isak speaks to TNT Sports

On the penalty decision (clear he hadn’t seen the replay)...

“I didn’t think it was a penalty when it happened...have to trust the referee.”

On the draw...

“It’s hard to swallow, proud of the team, not an easy place to come, we did great, we got tired in the end, it’s a bit unfortunate.”

On still being able to qualify for the knockout stages...

“It’s good, we have it all to play for in the final game.”

On his goal...

“Proud moment for me.”

10:04 PM GMT

The controversial moment

Livramento penalty
The ball hit Livramento's chest before finding his elbow

10:03 PM GMT

Jermaine Jenus on THAT penalty

“It’s a shocker. The ref had such a good game but to give that at the end, he’s caved, that’s the only way to put it...for that to happen after the way Newcastle played, it doesn’t feel right. They’ve worked their socks off and should have walked off with all the points.”

10:01 PM GMT

FULL-TIME: PSG 1-1 Newcastle

PSG have one last attack before Marciniak calls time...

Great performance from Newcastle who may well feel there’s been a serious injustice thrown in their face in the dying moments.

09:59 PM GMT


PSG 1-1 Newcastle

Mbappe makes no mistake from the spot and after all that hard work Newcastle have to be contented with a draw...

09:58 PM GMT

Penalty for PSG

Somehow, he’s given it...not sure how as Dembele hit the ball, it comes off Livramento’s chest then onto his elbow...harsh, that wouldn’t be given in the Premier League...

09:57 PM GMT

Possible penalty for PSG

Again the ball is back in the Newcastle box and this time it seems their luck has run out...Dembele hits it first time and it looks as though Livramento handles it...

Indeed, the ref Szymon Marciniak is told to go look at the monitor, not a good sign...

09:54 PM GMT

95 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

PSG are huffing and puffing but are still unable to blow Newcastle’s house down...

09:53 PM GMT

93 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

Pope gets a yellow card for time wasting - it had been coming...five minutes still to play...

09:52 PM GMT

91 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

Another good chance for Barcola, his third since he came on. The ball is delivered from the right, it finds Barcola at the back post who gets his body in completely the wrong position before leaning back and volleying high, wide and not at handsome...

09:51 PM GMT

89 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

There will be eight, yes, eight minutes of added time at the Parc des Princes...very much squeaky-bum time for Newcastle now.

09:49 PM GMT

87 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

Oh, so  close for PSG and it’s that man Mbappe. The captain barges his man off the ball before getting in a fierce shot in on goal from about 10 yards. Pope makes a regulation save, it comes back out to Mbappe but his second attempt goes well wide...Newcastle are JUST about holding onto this slender, but well-deserved, lead.

09:47 PM GMT

85 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

Five tension-filled minutes to go as Hakimi gets in a cross with his left from the right, it’s crying out for a PSG touch but fortunately for Newcastle no player in blue can get on the end of it and Pope comes to collect.

The stats have PSG with 67 per cent possession - not sure how it isn’t more, Newcastle haven’t had the ball the past 30 minutes or so...

09:45 PM GMT

83 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

Newcastle have defended really well, they’ve been in the right places when the numerous crosses have come in and that’s no fluke. One man who has stood out has been Lascelles, the visitors haven’t missed Botman tonight.

09:43 PM GMT

81 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

Still all PSG and still it’s not incisive enough to really trouble Newcastle. This time Demebele gets in a cross and Trippier clears.

Then, the ball goes back out to the left, Lee gets in another low cross to the near post where it finds that man Dembele and his first-time attempt from close range goes wide. Fair play to Schar who made a nuisance of himself and put off the PSG man.

09:40 PM GMT

79 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

Newcastle are getting deeper and deeper but they’re doing what they have to do and reducing PSG to long-range attempts - that won’t bother the visitors.

09:37 PM GMT

77 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

It’s all PSG at the moment (as it has been for the past 20 mins or so) but still it’s all in front of Newcastle who have tow banks of four and are keeping focused and concentrated...13 tension-filled minutes to go.

09:36 PM GMT

75 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

The job is not done yet for the visitors - no good being great (which they have been) for 75-80 minutes.

As I type Mbappe is played through through the middle but the ever-alert Pope comes out and claims the ball. The Newcastle keeper has been brilliant tonight.

09:34 PM GMT

73 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

The longer it goes on like this the more tired Newcastle will get. They cannot rely on their untested bench so they need to try and get their foot on the ball here and eat into some of the remaining tension-filled 17 minutes...

09:33 PM GMT

71 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

PSG are again in the Newcastle box, there’s a bit of pinball and the ball strikes Miley’s arm, the whole of Paris appeals but the ref, Szymon Marciniak, remains unmoved...

09:31 PM GMT

68 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

PSG gave upped the anti here - they’ve increased the tempo and now have a penalty shout as Hakimi drives into the box before falling under the challenge of Gordon. But play is waved on and Newcastle, this time, breathe a sigh of relief.

Big last 20 minutes coming up for Newcastle now, they could do with a bit of possession and take a bit of sting out of this game.

09:29 PM GMT

66 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

Barcola has been a busy boy since coming on. He’s now played in in the inside-left channel, he’s through, in on goal but side foots his shot into the side netting...weak...

09:28 PM GMT

65 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

Pope with an outstanding save - as in really good, make sure you watch it later...Mbappe does brilliantly on the right, drives into the box before setting up the sub Barcola. He must score, he has to score and he would have scored but for Pope who somehow gets his right arm and knee to it. Remarkable.

09:25 PM GMT

61 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

It’s now 2-1 to Dortmund in Milan, if it stays that way the Germans will go through tonight.

Meanwhile, changes for the hosts: Vitinha and Bradley Barcola are on, off go Randal Kolo Muani and Manuel Ugarte. Mbappe will now play through the middle. Will that add the impetus the hosts so sorely need?

09:22 PM GMT

59 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

Trippier does indeed have a go with the free-kick, it deflects off the wall for a corner. From this set-piece Trippier goes long and there’s a foul and the hosts can breathe a sigh of relief for a bit.

09:21 PM GMT

58 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

Great play from Gordon who drives down the left flank and asks plenty of questions of the back-pedalling Skriniar who, fairly cynically, brings the young Englishman down. It’s an obvious yellow and Newcastle have a free-kick well within the range of a certain Mr Trippier.

09:18 PM GMT

Solid at the back but need to push forward

Newcastle looking very good defensively in their 4-5-1, out of possession shape. The trouble is getting up the pitch and committing enough players forward to make that count. As the game goes into its final 30 minutes it will get harder and harder if PSG are not pushed back.

09:17 PM GMT

54 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

There has been no upping of the tempo from PSG and Newcastle must be wishing it continues...

Typical, as I typed that the hosts finally try their luck with a throughball and Dembele has a decent chance until Pope rushes off his line to save well. That’s what PSG need to do more, play through the lines not, yawn yawn, across them which is what they’ve done since the break.

Pope saves
Pope saves

09:15 PM GMT

Isak and Skriniar wish each other well...

Isak and Skriniar
Isak and Skriniar

09:13 PM GMT

52 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

PSG pass the ball around, it’s a neat but it’s all side to side and too easy for Newcastle to defend. They seem loathed to try their luck and fire the ball into the box. Eventually Newcastle win the ball and any sort of chance the hosts had to creating a chance (based on that move, not much) goes...

09:11 PM GMT

50 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

It’s been a bitty opening, a few fouls, no real fluency and to state the obvious that rather suits Newcastle more than PSG.

The hosts need to inject a bit of intensity into this half...or make a change sooner rather than later.

09:09 PM GMT

48 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

Newcastle have seen more of the ball in the opening three minutes of this half than they did the entire opening 10 minutes of the first. ‘More of the same please’ will be the instructions from Howe and the rest of the bench.

09:07 PM GMT

46 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

No changes from either side at the break. No shock that being the case for Newcastle.

Meanwhile, as I type Almiron plays in Isak with a lovely ball, but for some reason the Newcastle striker dithers on the ball when he must get a shot in on goal...the chances withers away...

09:05 PM GMT

45 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

The second half is under way in Paris - another big 45 minutes to come for Newcastle...

09:04 PM GMT

Can Newcastle keep this up?

My worry for Newcastle is fatigue. They have nothing on the bench that is really going to improve them in midfield or attack and PSG are going to pile on the pressure in the second half.

But what a brilliant first half performance and another masterclass from Eddie Howe. To have two young players in Tino Livramento (20) and Lewis Miley (17) play so well on this sort of stage is remarkable. But from front to back, man for man, Newcastle have been superb.

09:02 PM GMT

Think the Newcastle fans enjoyed that goal...

09:00 PM GMT

How Isak put Newcastle 1-0 ahead

08:52 PM GMT

HALF TIME: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

Well, at the start it looked as though Newcastle would be in for a long 45 minutes. But they held firm, regathered, weathered the storm and slowly got into the match before grabbing their chance to go one-up thanks to a mistake from Donnarumma in the PSG goal. Since then they’ve grown even more into the match, have controlled the midfield, reduced the hosts to long shots, and are worth the advantage at the break.

08:50 PM GMT

46 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

Good chance for the hosts as Mbappe is allowed to run in behind (waaaaaay too easily...) before getting in a low cross for Dembele, whose shot is blocked by Schar...not sure how much the Newcastle man knew about that but he and his team-mates won’t care about that.

08:46 PM GMT

43 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

Corner for PSG - can they make it count?

They go short before Lee crosses, Lascelles heads clear but only as far as Fabian whose shot is straight at a grateful Pope. Newcastle won’t mind PSG being reduced to long shots, not least if they’re as limp as that one. What I am trying to say is that the visitors have very much taken the sting out of PSG and then some...

08:44 PM GMT

41 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

As if to illustrate the point made in the previous post, PSG have a four vs three in the Newcastle half and somehow, through Lee and Demeble, contrive to not even get in the visitors’ box - Pope coming out majestically to claim a hopeful cross.

08:42 PM GMT

39 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

The early zip and speed of PSG that was so noticeable in the opening exchanges has all but gone, testament to Newcastle’s application and taking that chance when it landing slap bang in their laps.

08:40 PM GMT

37 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

Milan are now level with Dortmund at the San Siro. That means the group, as it stands looks like this...

Dortmund 8
Newcastle 7
AC Milan 6

In other words, it’s very tight...

08:38 PM GMT

Poacher's goal

Isak pounces on the mistake by Donnarummaa


Then celebrates putting Newcastle ahead...


08:35 PM GMT

Terrific Tino

Tino Livramento deserves huge credit for Newcastle’s goal, he beat four PSG players with a mazy dribble that drew the centre backs out of position. That meant there was nobody to stop Isak poking home the loose ball after some poor goalkeeping from Donmnarumma, who should have done much better dealing with Miguel Almiron’s shot from outside the box

08:34 PM GMT

31 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

This is an enthralling contest and Pope is called upon to make a great save, low to his right after the hosts work the ball into the box and Dembele shoots on target.

08:32 PM GMT

28 mins: PSG 0-1 Newcastle

Mley, having made the run that allowed Almiron the shot that led to the goal, now makes a great bloack to prevent Lee getting the ball into the box. As everyone who’s seen him play says ‘the boy’s a bit special’, and, in the words of Alan Partridge at Marple Races, at the age of 17 ‘shouldn’t he be in school?’

08:25 PM GMT


PSG 0-1 Newcastle

Isak puts the visitors ahead!

Not a smash and grab yet, the game’s way too young, but having weathered the storm Newcastle have found the back of the net. Livramento is allowed to cut in off the left and dance all the way into the centre on the edge of the box. He passes to Almiron, in the inside-right channel, who cuts onto his left and fires a low shot that Donnarumma spills, Isak doesn’t look this gift horse in the mouth and, unmarked, fires into the back of the net. Almiron found the space for the shot thanks to a cute run from Miley who’s started well.

08:24 PM GMT

19 mins: PSG 0-0 Newcastle

Newcastle more composed and less hurried now, they’ve weathered the early storm but PSG are still beating the Newcastle press without too much difficulty and as I type the hosts find Dembele at the back post and his volley goes just high and wide.

Goes without saying but Newcastle need to stay concentrated all night, one slip up and the good work of he past 10 minutes will be undone.

08:19 PM GMT

Newcastle are living dangerously

Newcastle are living dangerously and PSG are getting a lot of joy down attacking down their right flank where the Magpies have a makeshift left back in Tino Livramento, but they are defending bravely, getting a block or tackle in at just the right moment to deny their hosts inside the box.

And what a chance for Alexander Isak after superb work from Miguel Almiron. The early signs are that Newcastle are going to get chances against this PSG defence. They’ve got to take them though.

08:17 PM GMT

15 mins: PSG 0-0 Newcastle

Newcastle are seeing more of the ball now and are seemingly settling into this match. Any bit of possession at the moment will do them no harm at all.

Meanwhile, Dortmun have gone 1-0 up at Milan, with Giroud having missed a penalty for the hosts.

08:14 PM GMT

11 mins: PSG 0-0 Newcastle

Great play from Almiron who robs Hakimi of the ball on the left in the final third. He looks up and plays in Isak who is unmarked and somehow fires over when hitting the target may have been the easier option. In a match where chances may be few and far between (going on the first 10 mins at least...) that was a golden opportunity to score.

08:12 PM GMT

9 mins: PSG 0-0 Newcastle

It should be 1-0 to PSG as poort defending from the visitors allows Hakimi the freedom of Paris on the righthand side. He crosses low into the box and Mbappe’s attempt on goal comes via a backflick that is well saved by Pope. Think it was Livramento who went to sleep for Newcastle there. Again, worrying signs for Newcastle.

08:10 PM GMT

8 mins: PSG 0-0 Newcastle

Almiron and Trippier combine well on the right before the ball goes over the byline for a goalkick. Then moments later Mbappe is in full flight on the left and Trippier is world-class in the tackle dispossessing the captain. Good from the Newcastle defender but ominous signs from PSG.

Kieran Trippier’s first tackle on Kylian Mbappe was a beauty - le grand homme in full flight and Trippier removed the ball with one incisive spear of the boot. Unlikely to be the last time he has to go one v one with Mbappe.

08:08 PM GMT

Adidas bantz..?

PSG pre-match ‘tifo’ looks like a variation on an Adidas trefoil. One in the eye for club official kit manufacturers, Nike.

08:06 PM GMT

6 mins: PSG 0-0 Newcastle

Newcastle could do with a bit of possession here, they chasing shadows at the moment.

08:06 PM GMT

4 mins: PSG 0-0 Newcastle

Another great move and chance for PSG who have started quicker than Usain Bolt in a rush. Not for the first time Dembele is on the ball and this time does well to chip the ball to the back post. Lee is there to meet it but makes a poor contact, the ball, however, comes back into the middle of the box and Fabian fires high over the bar with Mbappe possibly better placed to hit the target.

08:04 PM GMT

2 mins: PSG 0-0 Newcastle

Fast start for PSG and Mbappe is to the fore, a dangerous cross in the first 60 seconds and Lascelles does well to prevent it getting into the six-yard box. The crowd is making itself heard and you suspect the few period of this match for Newcastle will be (cliche alert) about keeping it tight and trying to make the vocal locals in the stands quiet...

08:01 PM GMT

1 min: PSG 0-0 Newcastle

They’re under way in Paris, the hosts are in their darkish blue outfit and Newcastle are in their famous black and white number..

08:00 PM GMT

Paris: 'The city of lights and very loud music'

Expensive-looking light and laser show pre-kick off at Parc des Princes. Manchester City favour something similar on Champions League nights. VERY LOUD MUSIC (and very eclectic track choices) drowning out the Collectif Ultras Paris behind the goal who were doing a good job of stoking the atmosphere previously. A lot of former players had been out on the pitch including PSG and Newcastle old boy Laurent Robert.

07:58 PM GMT

The teams are out on the pitch

And the grandiose Uefa anthem (Uefa grandiose and self-important? Who’d have thought it...) has blared out and we’re moments away from kick off.

07:56 PM GMT

There's a light show at the Parc des Princes at the moment

It seems no BIG sporting event is without one nowadays.

07:50 PM GMT

Newcastle squad is very much 'stretched'

When Newcastle thrashed PSG 4-1 at St James’ Park back in October they were pretty much at full strength in terms of squad options and depth. It seems a very long time ago.

The back to back defeats to Borussia Dortmund mean a defeat in Paris tonight will likely end Newcastle’s participation in Europe this season and manager Eddie Howe is trying to save their Champions League campaign without 13 players through injury and the suspension of star summer signing Sandto Tonali.

Newcastle’s starting XI looks good enough, in theory, to pull off another shock, even with the 17-year-old Lewis Miley in midfield, but a glance at the bench shows just how dire things have become.

Only one player, Lewis Hall, has seen any regular first team minutes this season and he is joined by two goalkeepers and three youth team players. Ben Parkinson and Michael Nqobile Ndiweni have made their first team debuts as substitutes in the last couple of weeks, while midfielder James Huntley is yet to play any senior football for his hometown club.

07:43 PM GMT

A word on Lewis Miley

If it wasn’t for Newcastle’s injury list then he likely wouldn’t be playing tonight but he made a huge statement during the 4-1 win over Chelsea at the weekend and he’ll likely be in and around the first XI for the rest of the season.

READ: Lewis Miley: The ‘unbelievable’ 17-year-old making waves at Newcastle

Lewis Miley
Lewis Miley

07:37 PM GMT

For Newcastle this is...

...a must-win game. Should they lose, PSG will be on nine points five points ahead of the Toon and with AC Milan hosting table-topping Dortmund tonight progression to the next round would be all but over.

Nick Pope
It's a big night for Nick Pope and the rest of the Newcastle side tonight - Reuters/Stephane Mahe

07:32 PM GMT

For all of PSG's riches

They’ve only made one Champions League final and one semi-final... Victory tonight for the hosts will allow the capital club to reach the last 16 for the 12th season, but making the knockout stages is the least a club such as PSG should be doing.

The club’s chief revenue officer Marc Armstrong told the BBC that the Champions League wasn’t an ‘obsession’ but you have question whether a plethora of Ligue 1 titles was really the Qataris’ dream when they bought the club.

There seems to have been a change of tack recently at the Parc des Princes, with the era of trying to buy every Neymar and Messi over, and talk, at least, of trying to harness the huge talent available in the suburbs of Paris. Interesting.

07:24 PM GMT

So this is in effect...

Qatar vs Saudi Arabia - two mega-rich clubs owned by nation states keen to make their mark on the footballing landscape. Though, let’s face it, both Middle Eastern countries have already done that. It is, perhaps, understandable why fans of both clubs want to shoo away the many questions surrounding their owners, but in a match such as this it’s hard to escape the nature of modern-day top-level football and how it’s changed beyond recognition over the past decade.

Qatar's zillions has been able to bag Mbappe for PSG - Getty Images/Aurelien Meunier

07:20 PM GMT

And here are both starting line-ups in black and white

PSG XI TO FACE NEWCASTLE: Donnarumma, Hakimi, Skriniar, Danilo Pereira, Hernandez, Fabian, Ugarte, Lee, Dembele, Muani, Kylian Mbappe. Subs: Goncalo Ramos, Asensio, Vitinha, Mukiele, Carlos Soler, Barcola, Letellier, Tenas.

Seventeen-year-old Lewis Miley makes his first Champions League start.

NEWCASTLE XI TO FACE PSG: Pope, Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Livramento, Miley, Bruno Guimaraes, Joelinton, Almiron, Isak, Gordon. Subs: Dubravka, Dummett, Karius, Hall, Ndiweni, Parkinson, Huntley.

If it ain’t broke don’t fix it - yep, Eddie Howe has named the saem XI that thrashed a sorry Chelsea on Saturday. So Alexander Isak leads the attack and the hugely impressive 17-year-old Lewis Miley makes his first Champions League start.

Lewis Miley
Can Lewis Miley make an impact in Paris? - CameraSport/Alex Dodd

07:09 PM GMT

Here's the Newcastle XI

04:34 PM GMT

Good evening

Welcome to our coverage for tonight’s Champions League Group F game between Paris St-Germain against Newcastle United. It has so far not been a fantastic return to Europe’s top competition for Eddie Howe’s men, having won just one game out of their four. However, all hope is not lost, given how tight it is in their group.

Newcastle currently sit bottom on four points but ahead of them are Milan on five, PSG on six and Borussia Dortmund on seven. Newcastle have PSG and Milan to play and need a couple of decent results if they are to progress and maybe even take that third place that would see them transfer to the Europa League.

However, things are slightly precarious as a loss tonight, combined with a Milan win would see them exit the Champions League, though a place in the Europa League would still be possible.

Manager Howe has described it as a defining moment in their European season. “We will need every ounce of energy to get a result,” said Howe.

Newcastle United's English head coach Eddie Howe talks to the media during a press conference at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris on November 27, 2023 on the eve of their UEFA Champions League football match against Paris Saint-Germain
Newcastle United's English head coach Eddie Howe talks to the media during a press conference at the Parc des Princes Stadium in Paris on November 27, 2023 on the eve of their UEFA Champions League football match against Paris Saint-Germain

“This is a defining moment in our Champions League campaign, we are going to give it everything. It is imperative we don’t lose.”

Meanwhile, goalkeeper Nick Pope has told Newcastle they have to believe they can win every game if they are to be thought of as a top team.

Memories of October’s 4-1 demolition of the French champions at St James’ Park, which took Eddie Howe’s men to the top of Group F after two rounds of fixtures, have faded after two defeats in a row by Borussia Dortmund left them at the foot of the table.

“A win would be nice. That’s not going to do any harm in any group at any stage.

“It obviously keeps it in our hands as well, which is something that would be nice going into the Milan at home game. But the full focus has got to be on tomorrow night and taking it one game at a time.

“Every game we go into, we’ve got to look to win, whether that’s League Cup, Champions League, league.”

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