Thu 5 Oct 2023, 10:35 by NUFC News

Newcastle United 4-1 Paris Saint-Germain: Geordies in dreamland, Mbappé in the mud

Newcastle United 4-1 Paris Saint-Germain: Geordies in dreamland, Mbappé in the mud
Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images
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Newcastle United thumped Paris Saint-Germain 4-1 at St. James' Park on Wednesday evening, in the first Champions League game played on Tyneside since March 2003.

Here's a full recap of a marvellous 90 minutes, along with some of the most delightful match highlights you're ever likely to see courtesy of TNT Sports.

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Match Report

Goals from Miguel Almirón, Dan Burn, Sean Longstaff, and Fabian Schär led Newcastle to a historic 4-1 victory over French champions Paris Saint-Germain on Wednesday night at a bouncing St. James' Park.

In a cauldron-like atmosphere not seen at Gallowgate for a lot longer than the 20 years since the last Champions League match graced its hallowed turf, Eddie Howe's credentials as a modern-times miracle worker were enhanced further still.

The head coach opted to make one change to the side that comfortably beat Burnley 2-0 on Saturday afternoon, recalling Sandro Tonali to the left of the central midfield trio in place of local lad Elliot Anderson, who did at least feature from the bench in the second half.

The stadium concourses were bouncing well before kick-off, supporters heeding advice from the club and Wor Flags to make it in good time to avoid congestion at the new digital turnstiles. The pre-match sights and sounds were captured perfectly by TNT Sports 2, who labelled the scene "astonishing" on their YouTube channel:

Speaking of Wor Flags, they did Howe and the players proud yet again, delivering a spectacle the likes of which has scarcely been seen inside an English football stadium. The rest of the supporters played their part, too, joining in heartily with the flag waving and singing and shouting themselves hoarse before a ball had been kicked.

Then it was down to the players and boy did they do their part. Surviving an early scare courtesy of Ousmane Dembélé, who dragged a volley from Kylian Mbappé's cross wide from just eight yards in the fifth minute, Newcastle got about their visitors with their customary high press and were full value for the win.

Almirón opened the scoring in the 17th minute after a howler from Marquinhos, who couldn't evade Bruno Guimarães with an attempted lofted pass out of his own area. The Brazilian cushioned a header into Alexander Isak, who swivelled and fired a half-volley from 16 yards that Gianluigi Donnarumma did brilliantly to save.

Our relentless Paraguayan was alive to the rebound, though, side-footing a majestic finish into the far corner from eight yards despite being at full pelt when he reached the ball. The home supporters were delirious but there was better still to come from the black and whites, even though Schär missed the next real chance of the game when hooking wide at the near post as part of a low corner routine with Kieran Trippier.

Another Trippier set piece was the source of the second goal, this time a deeper free-kick from the right that the imperious Jamaal Lascelles got first contact with. Donnarumma was again called into action in the ensuing scramble, majestically clawing away a sliced clearance from Manuel Ugarte, but only knocking the ball to Guimarães on the touchline.

The Brazilian opted to shoot low from a tight angle, forcing the visiting goalkeeper into yet another superb save, but Newcastle were again first to the rebound thanks to Tonali. He prodded the ball back to an onside Bruno, who lifted a beautiful left-footed cross to the back post for Burn. What came next was incredible, with the big defender absolutely dominating the hapless Milan Škriniar to head into the net.

Donnarumma almost made yet another gravity-defying save, but the ball was well over the line by the time he reached it. Even one of the longest VAR checks we've ever seen couldn't deny Burn, though, with a torturous wait for a possible offside against Guimarães ending in fussy Romanian referee István Kovács making the VAR signal and pointing to the centre spot to award the goal.

Burn stood alone, arms outstretched, to take in the belated roar of the supporters and was mobbed by his teammates in glorious scenes soon after. Newcastle headed into half-time with a 2-0 lead with Mbappé barely a factor in the game due to the relentless energy and awesome organisation of his motivated hosts.

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Serena Taylor/Newcastle United via Getty Images

A nervy second 45 minutes was predicted by many inside St. James', but Longstaff put paid to that as he raced into the right side of the box onto a perfectly weighted through ball from Trippier five minutes into the half. With no obvious crossing option available to him, the number 36 got his head down and drove a low effort that Donnarumma didn't seem to be expecting.

The Italian goalkeeper still got a hand to the shot but the power was too much for him, with the ball looping up into the top of the Gallowgate net to send the home fans loopy for a third time. Longstaff and his teammates raced to the South West corner to celebrate with the game looking won.

PSG weren't ready to throw the towel, though, and reduced the deficit back to two with a very well-worked goal from Lucas Hernández 11 minutes later. His run from deep wasn't tracked by Almirón and went unseen by Trippier, allowing the excellent Warren Zaïre-Emery to pick him out with a chipped pass. Hernández headed beyond Nick Pope all too easily, injecting some nerves back into the stadium.

Luis Enrique's side rarely threatened thereafter, fortunately, though Dembélé probably should have worked Pope when being released in behind Burn in the 69th minute. He looked certain to get a shot away before Lascelles strode across to pressure him at the last second, causing the French winger's effort to fly harmlessly into the Leazes End.

Then came a 91st-minute cherry on an already delicious cake. Schär, who put in one of the best overall displays ever seen from a Magpies defender, tracked Gonçalo Ramos well into the visitors' half and slid in to cut out the pass that was intended for the Portuguese striker. Quick to his feet, the Swiss international continued forward and found substitute Jacob Murphy infield, around 35 yards from goal.

Urged to shoot himself, Murphy selflessly opened up his body and saw that Schär was coming around his right shoulder looking for a one-two. The winger duly obliged but the pass was slightly too heavy, meaning the centre-back had to stretch to make solid contact with the ball. That didn't prevent him from curling it into the top right corner from 22 yards, of course. Schär just does not score bad goals and this was another one for his collection.

All that remained was the five-minute wait for the final whistle. The home crowd spent a good portion of that serenading their Parisian visitors and Mbappé in particular with a hearty chorus of "You're f*cking sh*t!". When the whistle finally came the roar that greeted it was not one of relief, but of celebration, because Newcastle United are well and truly back.

What a night. What a team. What a time to be a supporter of this great football club.

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Sky Sports

Highlights

We have a feeling this footage is going to be watched again and again and again. Go on, treat yourself to another viewing, courtesy of the TNT Sports YouTube channel:

Up Next

It's a trip to West Ham's London Stadium on Sunday afternoon, for a 2 p.m. BST kick-off in the Premier League.

Although Howe will be without Gordon due to suspension, he's hoping to have Joelinton and Callum Wilson back in the squad, and the latter has promised a new dance routine for the Hammers fans if he scores.

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