Tue 28 Nov 2023, 22:20 by Ash Harrison

Newcastle's Champions League hopes hanging by a thread after shocking VAR decision in Paris

Newcastle's Champions League hopes hanging by a thread after shocking VAR decision in Paris
Richard Sellers via Getty Images
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Newcastle United played out a 1-1 draw against Paris Saint-Germain in the penultimate Champions League group game tonight.

The Magpies took a surprise lead on 24 minutes after Alexander Isak pounced on a loose ball after Gianluigi Donnarumma palmed the ball away after a Miguel Almiron shot.

It was Isak's goal but Tino Livramento deserved all the plaudits for a brilliant run across the edge of the PSG area before laying it off for Almiron.

Newcastle hardly touched the ball in the second half

Newcastle held on until half-time and took their lead into the break, but when the second half got underway it was all PSG.

Newcastle defended brilliantly and seemed to have an answer for everything PSG threw at them, and they threw everything at them. It was such a valiant effort from the lads, especially as the starting XI were all still on at full-time due to the lack of options on the bench. Poor Isak was absolutely blowing by the end.

It got to the point where the French champions were begging the referee for help, appealing for a penalty at any given opportunity, eventually getting their wish in the 97th minute after what is allegedly the world's best referee adjudged Tino Livramanto to have handled the ball in the area.

It's a draw that feels like a defeat purely because of the nature of their goal

One look and you could see that the ball hit his chest and spun up onto his arm, there was absolutely nothing he could have done about it but the ref decided it was enough to award the spot kick which Kylian Mbappe, who had been absolute toilet all night, converted brilliantly. Worst of all, there was an exact same incident with Lewis Miley with the ball bouncing off him onto his arm, it was looked at by VAR and not given as a penalty. How is one given and the other not?

We'd have taken a draw before kick-off, and would have accepted it if PSG had scored from one of their many, many chances they created, but to do go down to a shocking decision like that stings like a million acid-dipped nettles. Newcastle now need to beat AC Milan while Dortmund avoid defeat to PSG in the final game to continue in the competition.

We need to channel our inner Mikel Arteta now and cry for weeks about that decision. Or, we could just have a night of bitterness and then get on with it.

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