Heartbreak for Newcastle as late VAR drama earns PSG controversial point

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Heartbreak for Newcastle as late VAR drama earns PSG controversial point
Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring a penalty to keep their Champions League hopes alive
Kylian Mbappe celebrates scoring a penalty to keep their Champions League hopes alive
AFP
Paris Saint-Germain retained control of their UEFA Champions League (UCL) destiny, as a 98th-minute penalty from Kylian Mbappe rescued a 1-1 draw with Newcastle United at the Parc des Princes.

Newcastle travelled to Paris knowing a loss would result in Eddie Howe’s men being eliminated from the UCL, and so with that in mind, they played with men behind the ball and looked to hit PSG on the counter.

Allowing the home side to have all of the possession was proving dangerous as Ousmane Dembele fashioned a chance for his teammates after creating space down the right flank before standing the ball up for Lee Kang-In, but both he and Fabian Ruiz squandered opportunities, while Mbappe was denied by Nick Pope.

The Magpies were beginning to grow into the game and they really should have opened the scoring after Miguel Almiron found Alexander Isak in the box, the Swedish international’s first-time effort flew high and wide.

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That miss was soon forgotten as Isak pounced on a loose ball in the box to fire past Gianluigi Donnarumma after the former Milan goalkeeper spilled Almirón’s shot from the edge of the box.

With the goal provisionally putting Luis Enrique’s men outside the top-two, PSG ramped up the pressure and Dembélé went on a marauding run forward and came agonisingly close to equalising, but Pope’s fingertip save denied the hosts.

The PSG boss turned to his bench on the hour mark after an underwhelming start to the second half. One of those introduced was Bradley Barcola, who was stunningly denied from point-blank range minutes after coming on by Pope after being superbly picked out by Mbappé in the box.

The home side continued to produce wave after wave of attack as time was running out and once again, poor finishing was the only thing preventing them from earning a point as Dembélé this time fired wide from point-blank range.

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It looked like it just wasn’t going to be the night for the Parisians after Mbappé came within inches of netting, but they were given a lifeline in stoppage time after the VAR asked referee Szymon Marciniak to consult with the pitchside monitor after the ball deflected off Tino Livramento’s chest and then his arm.

A penalty was duly awarded, and Mbappé stepped up and coolly fired past Pope to finally secure an equaliser in the eighth minute of stoppage time and spare PSG’s blushes as their path to the last 16 becomes clearer.

They face already-qualified Borussia Dortmund on matchday six, while Newcastle will hope results go their way as they face off with AC Milan.

Flashscore Man of the Match: Nick Pope (Newcastle United)

Click here to see in-depth match stats.

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