In their first Champions League home encounter in twenty years, a wild Newcastle United displayed an outstanding performance on Wednesday to earn a magnificent 4-1 victory against Paris Saint-Germain. This victory was their first at St. James’ Park in the Champions League.
PSG did not have an answer for the relentless hosts in the north east, who raced into a lead in the 17th minute via Miguel Almiron, before Dan Burn blasted home a header six minutes before the interval to increase Newcastle’s advantage. The atmosphere in the north east was very heated.
The crowd made sure there was no letup after the break, and five minutes into the second half, Sean Longstaff scored a third goal for Newcastle by blasting it under the arm of Gianluigi Donnarumma in the PSG goal. This goal sent the Newcastle supporters into dreamland.
A goal from nowhere by Lucas Hernandez brought the away team back in it, and a goal in stoppage time by defender Fabian Schar concluded a surprise triumph that sent Newcastle to the top of Group F with four points, one point ahead of PSG in second place.
PSG suffered their greatest loss in the group stage of the Champions League since losing 3-0 to Chelsea in September 2004, and it was the first time that they surrendered four goals in a single group game in the tournament since they lost 3-4 to Deportivo La Coruna in March 2001. PSG’s previous heaviest defeat in the group stage of the Champions League was against Chelsea in September 2004.
“so pleased for the players for what they have given me and the football club,” stated Eddie Howe, the head coach of Newcastle. “Everyone in this room is having such a great time right now.
“From a strategic standpoint, it was a matchup between two very excellent teams competing against one other. We needed the support of the crowd in order to disturb them so that we could accomplish our mission. We were not anticipating being able to score four goals, so it came as a surprise.
The squad coached by Luis Enrique headed to Newcastle despite having a difficult time getting going domestically in Ligue 1 this season. Additionally, they had a disheartening record of five losses in their previous seven matches against English opponents in the Champions League.
It was the first time since November 2013 that the French champions failed to score in the first half of a Champions League group-stage encounter. They were unable to generate a single shot on target in the first quarter. That streak always seemed like it was going to continue.
Almiron became Newcastle’s first goalscorer in the tournament since Alan Shearer, the Premier League all-time leading goalscorer, to raise the roof off St. James’ Park. The audience cheered every tackle in the wet circumstances, and several players followed suit. This allowed Newcastle to progressively get into the game.
Donnarumma was need to make a number of impressive saves until he was unable to prevent Burn from scoring on a bullet header, a goal that was only allowed after a long VAR review.
Before Hernandez flicked Warren Zaire-Emery’s cross home to threaten a PSG comeback, Longstaff scored a goal that Donnarumma should have actually kept out having gotten down, bringing Newcastle closer to the prospect of a memorable triumph. Longstaff’s goal came after Hernandez had gotten down.
PSG seldom threatened Newcastle’s goal, with Schar’s magnificent strike from a distance providing the cherry on top for the ecstatic home side. Nick Pope made a stop to prevent an Ousmane Dembele shot from going in, but other than that, Newcastle’s custodian had nothing to do.
“I am responsible for what happened this evening,” Luis Enrique remarked.
“The attitude shown by my team was excellent throughout. The result of the game was fair, although my team had trouble keeping up with their opponents’ pressing game. We made some sloppy errors, which is something that you just cannot afford to do at this level.
AC Milan and Borussia Dortmund met in Germany on Wednesday to play the other match in the group, and the game ended in a scoreless tie. This was Milan’s second scoreless draw in their first two matches in the Champions League this season.