This one belonged to PSG. Not the aristocrats of Paris St-Germain but the Pretty Special Geordies of Newcastle United. What a glorious home return to the Champions League. What a spectacular announcement back onto the grandest of European stages.
Kylian Mbappe? Your boys took a hell of a beating and the forward was the first player to disappear down the tunnel at the end. We feared for Dan Burn but, instead the lad from Ashington, the former season ticket holder, scored, as did fellow local hero, Sean Longstaff.
As did Miguel Almiron and as did Fabian Schar and for all the millions spent since the Saudi-backed takeover it was three players who Eddie Howe inherited – and an unheralded signing from Brighton – who claimed the goals. It was another sign of the excellent job Howe has done as, a week after knocking Manchester City out of the League Cup, he earned what was surely the greatest victory of his managerial career.
And it is right up there for Newcastle. This was one for the ages. It was their biggest ever win in the Champions League and probably even surpassed the famous night of Faustino Asprilla’s hat-trick against Barcelona here in 1997.
Luis Enrique was in the Barcelona side that day and he is the PSG coach now and this was the kind of result and performance that will heap the pressure on the Spaniard, even this early into his time in charge.
Questions will be asked about his suicidal 4-2-4 formation against a team ravenous to press. It meant PSG went man-for-man with Newcastle’s defence and lost every single battle. This was not what PSG expect, their heaviest group stage defeat for 19 years, but that is for them to digest.
After 20 years away from the top table Newcastle feasted and how delicious it was. This will go down in lore, in legend, it will be summoned and spoke about as one of those very special nights that have been so infrequent for Newcastle and so craved.
They were outstanding throughout: from Jamaal Lascelles, captain in the Championship in 2016-17 and captain again, in defence, to Bruno Guimaraes in midfield to Almiron in attack. T-shirts will be made; songs will be written.
It was, for those inside St James’ Park, an ‘I was there’ moment and it felt special long before it unfolded. Drink it in and there was plenty of drinks being readied as the fans poured back down the hill where this cathedral of football sits and back into the pubs and bars. There may be some sore heads and sicknotes on Thursday morning.
It felt special as the music stopped before kick-off; the PA went silent and there was a lovely spontaneous roar of anticipation.
How long Newcastle have waited and dreamt of this; this kind of match. Two decades. Two decades since the adaptation of Handel’s ‘Zadok the Priest’ was played before kick-off – with Burn looking close to tears – and when it ended there was another even more fundamental, even elemental roar.
But that was as nothing as to when Newcastle scored. It was a gift from PSG – and it summed them up – but who cares? Their captain Marquinhos was badly at fault as he casually played a pass that was cut out. Gianluigi Donnarumma parried Alexander Isak’s shot but Almiron coolly snapped up the rebound. We had lift-off. We also had a first Newcastle goal in the Champions League since Alan Shearer in March 2003.
There was sheer pandemonium in the PSG penalty area with Gianluigi Donnarumma frantically repelling efforts before clawing out a towering Burn header as the 6ft 6in defender launched himself. Except the ball had clearly crossed the line. There was a long Var check – was Guimaraes offside in the build-up? Was there a handball by Almiron? – before the goal was finally given. Whisper it but the suspense added to the explosion of joy. It actually felt worth the wait.
In the rain PSG were taking a dousing and they could not escape with Kieran Trippier sliding the ball through to Longstaff. The midfielder was not tracked – Warren Zaire-Emery stopped, Milan Skriniar was too slow – and his angled shot went under Donnarumma. “He’s one of our own,” serenaded the jubilant Newcastle fans.
It briefly stalled when Lucas Hernandez pulled a goal back and it even felt like there was a collective intake of breath from the home fans. There was a long way still to go.
Two key moments came. Firstly, Lascelles sprinted back to out-muscle Ousmane Dembele as he appeared to be running clear and then Nick Pope saved sharply from the same PSG player.
Howe looked anxious and how Newcastle needed some respite. Five minutes of added time were announced but before that announcement was complete Newcastle ended any doubt. Schar barrelled into a tackle, exchanged passes with substitute Jacob Murphy and curled a stunning shot high into the net. What determination. What desire. What a goal. What a way to end it. And what a night as Newcastle top their group. A Group of Death with PSG, AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund? No, it has been a lease of life.
Newcastle have Champions League lift off in PSG thrashing – as it happened
10:54 PM BST
The celebrations would not be complete without...
10:43 PM BST
Eddie Howe on Newcastle's performance
An amazing evening, so many stories in the game itself, but first and foremost delighted for the supporters.
They are such a good team, we had to defend well and we did. I really liked out spirit and collective energy. We created the positive things in the first half from our pressing, all the things we do well when we are playing well.
In the second half we had to dig deep and try and get over the line.
10:39 PM BST
Not Mbappe's night
It is no secret that he is playing for time before a desired move to Real Madrid. PSG are now known as a club where elite talent drifts, and they need to change direction. They have one of world football’s most fruitful production lines of talent on their doorstep but have barely tapped into it, or sold them too early. Warren Zaïre-Emery is more like the type of player they need to be building around. It feels like the end of the superstar era.
10:31 PM BST
That's PSG's heaviest group stage defeat since Qatari takeover
3 - Newcastle's 4-1 win over PSG was the Mapgies' biggest ever winning margin in a UEFA Champions League match, and heaviest group stage defeat for the French club in the competition since a 0-3 loss to Chelsea in September 2004. Remarkable. pic.twitter.com/FNNgMIfzPH
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) October 4, 2023
10:28 PM BST
Dan Burn on his rise
I’ve had a very up and down career. I was released by Fulham at 25. So to be playing Champions League now, it’s like a dream, like I’m waiting for someone to wake me up. Ever since I have come here, the upward trajectory, it is almost like waiting for the bubble to burst.
10:23 PM BST
Longstaff on the atmosphere
I think the [Carabao Cup] semi-final last year was similar but this is a different level. They have some of the best players in the world and we want to go against them and show how good we are.
10:20 PM BST
Rio Ferdinand on Newcastle's performance
Soak it up. Soak it up for as long as you possibly can, because you don’t get many nights like this.
What you need at a heart of the performance like this is desire, togetherness and all those layers they have.
10:17 PM BST
Luke's thoughts from St James'
What a night for Newcastle United. What a night for two Geordies, Dan Burn and Sean Longstaff, scoring in the Champions League. What a night for Miguel Almiron and Fabian Schar who had only known relegation battles before Eddie Howe arrived. What night to be black and white. Come to think of it, King Eddie of Tyneside has a nice ring to it...
10:15 PM BST
Amid all of the emotion...
That result actually takes Newcastle to the top of their group on four points with a home-away head-to-head against Borussia Dortmund to come. Two more wins at home would take them to 10 points and that would normally be good enough to qualify for the last-16. They might fancy winning the group after that.
10:12 PM BST
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) October 4, 2023
10:09 PM BST
Sean Longstaff speaking post-match
To be honest there’s a few who thought three years we’d probably be out the door, but since the takeover it has been amazing. An unbelievable night and I’m so proud of being from Newcastle.
[How are the family?] Yeah, they’re probably pretty drunk even though it’s a Wednesday night.
10:06 PM BST
That's what you pay your money for
— Jamie Carragher (@Carra23) October 4, 2023
10:03 PM BST
FT: Newcastle 4 PSG 1
Mbappe is down the tunnel at the full time whistle and Newcastle’s fans are savouring a seismic result. Their endeavour, organisation and some fine individual performances from the likes of Schar and Bruno provided the platform for that result. The goals came at the right time, and they never looked in danger after scoring the opening goal.
Luis Enrique got his tactics wrong by picking four attackers and just two midfielders. Statistically, PSG will look fairly dominant but that was because Newcastle went 3-0 up so early. The story of the game is that the French side were second best.
09:59 PM BST
94 minutes: Newcastle 4 PSG 1
Any tension in the stadium has well and truly dissipated now and the party can start. You would hope that last orders can pushed back a few hours in town after a win like this. Mbappe has looked adrift from the contest for most of the night.
09:56 PM BST
GOOOOAAAALL! Schar caps the night off with a screamer
The Newcastle defender has been one of their best players on the night, and he has rounded it off with a stunning strike.
We have seen before that Schar has this in his locker, but he started the move by winning a booming tackle in midfield. Schar continued his run, had the ball laid off to him by Murphy and the big defender was almost falling over as he sent a shot flying into the top right-corner.
09:53 PM BST
89 minutes: Newcastle 3 PSG 1
Mbappe receives the ball in the Newcastle area surrounded by defenders, and he ends up fouling Gordon as the attempts the near-impossible of skipping through them.
There are going to be five minutes of stoppage time to play.
09:51 PM BST
86 minutes: Newcastle 3 PSG 1
That was surely PSG’s last chance to mount a grandstand finish. Murphy with a misplaced pass that draws groans from the crowd and PSG found Mbappe free on the left. The recovering Newcastle defenders did well to show him the line and stop Mbappe shooting on his right foot, but he teed up Vitinha at the edge of the area who blasted over.
09:49 PM BST
84 minutes: Newcastle 3 PSG 1
Barcola with a great piece of skill but his final ball let him down. The crowd are furious the Murphy is penalised for a foul on halfway. Newcastle not really getting out of their half now, but Mbappe’s shot from distance flies wide. It took a big deflection and should be a corner, but the referee failed to spot in.
09:46 PM BST
81 minutes: Newcastle 3 PSG 1
Half a chance for Bruno from the free-kick but he did not get enough power on the header. Fantastic combination play between Mbappe and Barcola down the left, but Lascelles wins a huge challenge that the crowd absolutely loved.
09:43 PM BST
79 minutes: Newcastle 3 PSG 1
Dembele gets down the right again, and his pull-back was just behind Mbappe’s run. Burn looks like he is flagging at left-back for Newcastle but the home team are hanging in there. Zaire Emery tries to let the ball run across his body in midfield, but is penalised for a foul on Bruno G.
09:41 PM BST
77 minutes: Newcastle 3 PSG 1
Vitinha has been very tidy since coming on, orchestrating play. It makes you wonder why Enrique did not start him in a midfield three. Dembele then produces a wonder first-time turn on the edge of the area, before Pope beats away his powerful shot. The Newcastle goalkeeper will be grateful that was straight at him.
09:37 PM BST
73 minutes: Newcastle 3 PSG 1
Schar did well to recover and win a challenge after gifting PSG a stray pass on the edge of the box. Newcastle are a couple of minutes closer to the finish line. PSG are not exactly turning up the heat, but Newcastle are struggling to sustain any attacks since their changes.
09:36 PM BST
71 minutes: Newcastle 3 PSG 1
Almiron has been nursing foot problem since the first half and now he is going to replaced by Jacob Murphy. Almiron was the player who started the night off with a well-taken rebound.
09:33 PM BST
69 minutes: Newcastle 3 PSG 1
That was a clear opening for Ousmane Dembele, darting in behind Burn and found by a raking pass over the top from Hakimi. The former Barcelona wide man never looked confident on his right foot though, and his foot skewed horribly wide. At the other end, Gordon is booked for a sliding challenge on Marquinhos, even though he looked to get the ball.
09:31 PM BST
66 minutes: Newcastle 3 PSG 1
Good spell of possession from PSG, pulling Newcastle’s defence around with the substitutes Vitinha and Barcola heavily involved. Schar did well to get his head to the resulting corner and Newcastle can breathe easily again.
09:28 PM BST
63 minutes: Newcastle 3 PSG 1
PSG are getting ready to bring Vitinha on. He is going to replace Manuel Ugarte, who has struggled in the middle of the park all night. Eddie Howe is also making his first change of the night and another academy player is coming on. Anderson is on for Sandro Tonali.
09:25 PM BST
Luke on the local lads done good
There is something very special hearing 50,000 Geordies singing, at the top of their voices, “Sean Longstaff, he’s one of our own...”
The two local lads in the side, Dan Burn and Longstaff, are living their childhood dreams this evening. A goal apiece in the Magpies first Champions League game at St James’ Park for 20 years.
09:23 PM BST
60 minutes: Newcastle 3 PSG 1
PSG are playing with some freedom now, Newcastle just need to weather the storm for the next few minutes. Half an hour plus stoppage time is a long time against forward players of this quality. The players might actually have to ignore the urges of the crowd to keep going forward and keep their shape.
09:22 PM BST
GOOOAAAAL! PSG have one back through Hernandez
PSG’s best player on the night Zaire-Emery scoops a pass into the box, and Lucas Hernandez’s run from deep goes untracked and he nods beyond Nick Pope. Suggestions of offside, but the goal stands after a Var check. Will that make things nervy?
09:18 PM BST
53 minutes: Newcastle 3 PSG 0
Newcastle fans will not waste a second thinking about this, but PSG have been desperately poor. The same old story really in that they remain a top-heavy team, even without Neymar and Messi. Enrique rolled the dice with his team selection and will be leaving the casino potless.
09:15 PM BST
GOOOOAAALLL! Longstaff surely makes the game safe
Another local lad scores on Newcastle’s first home game back in the Champions League. Longstaff ran off the back of PSG’s midfield all too easily and from a tight angle, his powerful low shot crept under the right wrist of Donnarumma. Newcastle fans might even be able to relax now.
09:13 PM BST
49 minutes: Newcastle 2 PSG 0
Dembele found another decent cross position but once again a Newcastle defender was in the right space to clear it. PSG trying to crank the pressure up but it all looks quite disjointed, with a lack of shape.
09:11 PM BST
47 minutes: Newcastle 2 PSG 0
Plenty of possession in the first few minutes of the half from PSG, but none of it very threatening and Dembele runs into traffic in the middle of the pitch. Donnarumma then clips the ball out for a Newcastle throw. You’d have to say the home team look comfortable at the moment.
09:10 PM BST
We are back under way for the second half!
No changes from Luis Enrique which is a slight surprise on the evidence of the first half. PSG need to rediscover some of their bravery on the ball. They allowed themselves to be rattled.
08:59 PM BST
Some of the pre-match tifo
08:55 PM BST
HT: Newcastle 2 PSG 0
Newcastle fans, players and Eddie Howe will be buzzing with that first 45 minutes. Things looked a little dicey in the first 10 minutes when PSG were playing forward early and finding their attackers isolated against Newcastle defenders. But Newcastle’s closing down high up the pitch started to be rewarded with turnovers, which led to Almiron’s opener. Newcastle have also threatened from set-pieces, the source of Dan Burn’s goal after an interminable Var check (but it was the right decision). PSG need another player in midfield.
08:52 PM BST
45 minutes+6: Newcastle 2 PSG 0
For one of the first times tonight you saw Mbappe go through the gears on a one-two, and then from the resulting corner he crossed for Ramos who saw a shot well blocked by Schar. That is a warning for Newcastle that the job is not done.
08:50 PM BST
45 minutes+4: Newcastle 2 PSG 0
PSG finally supply some service to their attackers, but no blue shirt was attacking Dembele’s low cross and Newcastle clear for a corner which the home team deal with. Luis Enrique’s tactical experiment has not worked so far.
08:48 PM BST
45 minutes: Newcastle 2 PSG 0
This half has just gone from positive, to good, to the stuff of dreams now. PSG whip a free-kick in and Pope comes off his line to punch. There are SEVEN minutes of stoppage time to play.
08:45 PM BST
GOOOOOAAAL! Dan Burn header given after a Var check
The Var check took a good two minutes but the goal has been awarded and St James’ erupts again.Bruno G was onside when the ball was played back to him by Tonali and Burn’s header stands. There were suggestions of a Lascelles handball which Var may have checked but the goal is given and Newcastle are in dreamland!
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) October 4, 2023
08:42 PM BST
40 minutes: Newcastle 1 PSG 0
What an almighty scramble in the PSG penalty area. I think Lascelles may have handled it when he went up for a header, then the ball broke for Almiron who saw a shot saved by Donnarumma.
Bruno G then stood up a cross to the back stick for Burn to attack, who planted a header at goal which looked over the line but Donnarumma clawed away. The referee blew his whistle, the crowd held their breath, but then he gave offside.
But hang on...Var is checking the offside. Replays show Burn’s header was over the line!
08:39 PM BST
38 minutes: Newcastle 1 PSG 0
That was really poor defending from Lucas Hernandez at left-back for PSG, first to let Almiron drift in behind him and then to trip him when Marquinhos was across on the cover. Another set-piece in a dangerous area for Newcastle.
08:38 PM BST
Luke's thoughts from St James'
The noise when Miguel Almiron gave Newcastle the lead was as loud, so loud in fact that the stadium vibrated with the shockwaves.
After a difficult start, Newcastle have settled into this game and PSG have looked far too lackadaisical at the back as they look to play through the Magpies press.Long way to go and PSG have so many rapid attacking players they are going to stretch the defence at some point. The French side currently look a little rattled. The fact the home fans are cheering every tackle like a goal seems to have discombobulated them a little bit.
08:36 PM BST
34 minutes: Newcastle 1 PSG 0
Worrying moments for Newcastle here with Isak down after a clash of heads. He is bleeding quite substantially from a cut, and the physios are checking for concussion. It looks like the Newcastle striker is being bandaged Terry Butcher style and is going to carry one. There is no Callum Wilson on the bench due to injury.
08:32 PM BST
30 minutes: Newcastle 1 PSG 0
Ugarte is being left isolated in midfield for PSG, and he was grateful for the referee’s whistle as Tonali swarmed all over him. This game suits Newcastle now - they can defend in shape, deny space behind for Dembele and Mbappe and wait for mistakes to unleash Almiron and Gordon on the break.
08:29 PM BST
28 minutes: Newcastle 1 PSG 0
Kolo Muani was fortunate to win a foul on the left flank against Trippier. Zaire Emery, the 17-year-old, has been the pick of PSG’s players, and another burst through the lines causes problem. Schar does well to step across in front of Ramos and gets an arm in the face for his trouble.
08:28 PM BST
25 minutes: Newcastle 1 PSG 0
Zaire-Emery steps through midfield and lashes a shot not far wide of the post. Newcastle have defended their penalty box pretty well on the occasions PSG have broke free of the pressure.
Trippier helps the ball on and Marquinhos glares at his goalkeeper as he is forced to turn the ball behind for a corner.
The corner was played to Schar at the edge of the box whose shot was fizzed just wide of the post. Newcastle close to a second.
08:21 PM BST
20 minutes: Newcastle 1 PSG 0
Newcastle were just starting to throw a blanket over PSG in the minutes before their goal, and the increased pressure paid off. The crowd are buoyant now, cheering every tackle and throw-in award that goes their way. Both teams might just need five minutes to clear their heads.
08:19 PM BST
GOOOOAAAALLL! Almiron gives Newcastle the lead
St James’ Park is shaking and Newcastle’s high press pays dividends. It was a careless loose ball from Marquinhos chipped into midfield, which did not get beyond the head of Bruno. He nodded the ball down for Isak to shoot on the turn from the edge of the box, it was beaten away by Donnarumma but there was Almiron to tuck away the rebound with a well-placed finish. The perfect start.
— Football on TNT Sports (@footballontnt) October 4, 2023
08:17 PM BST
16 minutes: Newcastle 0 PSG 0
Ugarte is very lucky to escape a yellow after catching Tonali with a late challenge. Free-kick in a crossing position left of centre, Trippier to take. He might even fancy the shot here...with some rain slickening the pitch. But his shot is straight into the wall. The last five minutes have been more encouraging for Newcastle though.
08:15 PM BST
13 minutes: Newcastle 0 PSG 0
That was nice from Newcastle, a delicate touch from Tonali releasing Isak down the left. He tries to drive into the box but his shot is charged down by Marquinhos.
The Hakimi presents Almiron with a stray pass 30 yards from goal but he rather slashes at his shot and it flies well over. Probably should have hit the target from there. Newcastle starting to get their teeth into this.
08:12 PM BST
11 minutes: Newcastle 0 PSG 0
Newcastle get some possession in the PSG half but Burn and Gordon got their wires crossed, and the ball ran out for a throw. Bruno does well in the Newcastle midfield to keep the ball and spread play to the right, before Isak was a touch unfortunate to be penalised for a nudge in the back of Skriniar.
08:10 PM BST
8 minutes: Newcastle 0 PSG 0
Newcastle had the chance to lift a free-kick into the box, but Donnarumma claimed it at the second attempt. PSG are showing real composure in their build-up at the moment, Newcastle are trying to get in their faces to disrupt them but the the black and white shirts are getting popped around. It only takes one mistake though...
08:07 PM BST
5 minutes: Newcastle 0 PSG 0
First chance falls to PSG! Newcastle tried to press into their half, but the French side kept their composure to play through pressure with Zaire Emery carrying it forward. Mbappe had Trippier pinned back and lifted a cross to Dembele at the back post but his volley flew narrowly wide. Nice move from the visitors, who are leaving a really mobile front four up against Trippier, Schar, Lascelles and Burn.
08:04 PM BST
2 minutes: Newcastle 0 PSG 0
Jermaine Jenas says Newcastle have made a good start to the match 30 seconds in with the ball yet to hit the grass...
Still trying to ascertain PSG’s shape going forward and how all these attacking players fit together. It looks like Dembele and Muani on the flanks with Mbappe buzzing around Ramos in a more central position.
Newcastle sit a 4-5-1 defensive shape but then jump out to press when PSG pass back, and Gordon closes down Marquinhos near the corner flag. The winger waves his arms to pump the crowd up, but PSG have the goal kick.
08:01 PM BST
PSG get the game under way. Newcastle playing in white shorts which is a change from the norm at home.
07:59 PM BST
A huge roar after the Champions League anthem
It was not so long ago Newcastle were losing to Cambridge United in the FA Cup. PSG will try to take the venom out of this atmosphere by keeping the ball and winning fouls, but they need to guard against dallying because Newcastle will be after them in the first few minutes.
07:58 PM BST
The players are in the tunnel
I think Isak is key for Newcastle tonight. They struggled to move up the pitch at Milan and Isak needs to hold the ball and link to Gordon and Almiron to get their pace in the game. The Newcastle striker is up against two wise centre-halves in Marquinhos and Skriniar. Howe’s team must also try to exploit their three vs two in central midfield.
07:50 PM BST
The flags' are out at St James' Park
The stadium is awash with black and white and it looks like every fan is in their seat a good 10 minutes before kick-off. No doubt there will be cheers for the Champions League anthem (unless they are unhappy with Uefa FFP regulations...)
07:44 PM BST
The atmosphere is building now
07:37 PM BST
Luke with an update from St James'
Newcastle city centre began to fill up from teatime onwards, with every bar and restaurant within walking distance of St James’ Park packed and boisterous. A lot of those fans will not have tickets for the game itself but it shows how the whole city comes alive on big football occasions like this.
My colleague Jason Burt has just told me that PSG have picked a very attacking side, with four attacking players up front and two in midfield.
I think Eddie Howe will be quietly happy about that because I don’t think Newcastle are going to play with the handbrake on themselves. If PSG are going to come at them and look to win the game, Newcastle are generally better in free flowing open games than they are trying to break teams down - especially at home.
07:26 PM BST
Howe on Tonali's responsibility tonight
Sandro is one of the players in the squad with Champions League experience. I think he is an outstanding and suited to nights like this. We really hope it goes well today. He is an outstanding talent and I think our midfield looks strong today.
07:22 PM BST
Howe on stopping Mbappe
We don’t tend to focus on individuals and we have done our work on him.,We have to respect the talent he has. We have prepared for both [playing centrally and wide] and then the hard bit is implementing our plan to try and nullify his threat.
07:17 PM BST
Eddie Howe on PSG's tactical surprise
We’re delighted to be here, we want to succeed and do really well so it’s a big night for us.
It’s all about the detail of how we play. They’ve changed their team slightly so we have to be tactically of them but also try to hurt them ourselves, I think we have the players to do that. I hope we have a good start in the match because I think that will really settle use down.
07:09 PM BST
Alexander Isak looks excited for the night
07:05 PM BST
PSG team news: Luis Enrique picks very attacking line-up
Starting XI: Donnarumma; Hakimi, Marquinhos, Skriniar, Hernandez; Ugarte, Zaire Emery; Dembele, Muani, Mbappe, Goncalo Ramos
Subs: Navas, Fabian, Danilo Pereira, Vitinha, Mukiele, Carlos Soler, Barcola, Tenas
By my count that is a team with three strikers in it, and you could make the case for Ousmane Dembele being classed as a forward too. The only certainty I see is that Dembele will play from the right. Goncalo Ramos is a true centre-forward while Mbappe likes playing from the left. Does that mean Kolo Muani playing off the front? Will be interesting to see how it plays out. A lot resting on Ugarte and Zaire Emery in midfield. Vitinha usually plays with them but is on the bench.
06:59 PM BST
Some more scenes from outside the ground
06:56 PM BST
Kylian Mbappe has arrived...wonder if Luis Enrique will find room for him
06:51 PM BST
Newcastle team news: Joelinton not fit enough to make squad
Starting XI: Pope; Trippier, Lascelles, Schar, Burn; Bruno Guimaraes, Longstaff, Tonali; Almiron, Isak, Gordon
Subs: Dubravka, Karius, Dummett, Targett, Hall, Livramento, Anderson, Murphy, L. Miley
That team is not Newcastle’s strongest team and their squad is stretched by injuries. Two goalkeepers and four full-backs on the bench. Still, there is pace in the wide areas through Almiron and Gordon which could be vital on a night when they may be forced to play on the counter-attack.
06:44 PM BST
Objects being thrown between both sets of supporters
— Adam Pearson (YT) ⚫️⚪️ (@AdamP1242) October 4, 2023
Among them a traffic cone it seems:
06:36 PM BST
PSG ultras in Newcastle city centre
06:35 PM BST
Free bets and betting offers
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06:34 PM BST
How will Newcastle's up-and-at-them style translate in Europe?
Champions League football returns to St James’ Park tonight for the first time since 2003, and it is one of the most exciting games of this year’s group stage as Paris St-Germain come to town.
Newcastle were fortunate to escape from their first Champions League game at AC Milan with a goalless draw, and how Eddie Howe’s team adapt to Europe’s top club competition will be interesting. There is an argument that their hard-running style could make things very awkward for opponents, especially at home. However, there have been examples down the years of English clubs struggling to impress a more direct style on technically proficient opponents in Europe, and a lack of control was certainly a problem for Newcastle at San Siro.
The absence of Joelinton and Joe Willock impaired them in that match, two players whose ball-carrying in midfield can move the team up the pitch. The pair remain absent through injury while Callum Wilson is also expected to miss out. Anthony Gordon has been in fine form of late, but will be up against another flyer in PSG’s Achraf Hakimi. Newcastle will also be without Sven Botman until after the international break. Their general performances remain strong domestically, but this test promises to stretch them.
Howe said: “We’re really looking forward to the game. I can’t wait to experience the home atmosphere that our fans create here tomorrow. It’s going to be a memorable night and hopefully, our performance can make it that way too.”
PSG head coach Luis Enrique was complimentary when speaking about Newcastle, and his new-look team were worthy winners over Borussia Dortmund in their opening game. Lionel Messi and Neymar have departed, with France team-mates Ousmane Dembele and Randal Kolo Muani the supporting cast around Kylian Mbappe in attack. 17-year-old midfielder Warren Zaïre-Emery is one of the outstanding prospects in Europe while combative defensive midfielder Manuel Ugarte was recruited in the summer. Central defender Presnel Kimpembe is an injury absence. Manchester City, Bayern Munich and Real Madrid are viewed as the three strongest contenders to win the competition, and maybe that a lack of hype around PSG will be welcome.
Full team news on the way shortly.