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Newcastle United Stun PSG with 4-1 Victory in Champions League Return

 Newcastle United Stun PSG with 4-1 Victory in Champions League Return

Newcastle United Stun PSG with 4-1 Victory in Champions League Return
Newcastle player Kieran Trippier celebrates the third Newcastle goal scored by Sean Longstaff (r) during the UEFA Champions League match between Newcastle United FC and Paris Saint-Germain at St. James Park on October 04, 2023 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England(Image-Getty) 

Newcastle United delivered a sensational performance to secure a resounding 4-1 victory over reigning French champions Paris St Germain in their first Champions League home match in two decades on Wednesday.

In a highly charged atmosphere in the north east, PSG found themselves powerless against the relentless hosts. Newcastle wasted no time in taking the lead, with Miguel Almiron scoring in the 17th minute. Dan Burn extended their advantage with a powerful header just six minutes before halftime.

The enthusiastic crowd ensured there was no respite for PSG even after the break. Sean Longstaff added a third goal five minutes into the second half, slipping the ball under the arm of PSG's goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma, sending Newcastle fans into a state of euphoria.

PSG managed to pull one back with an unexpected goal from Lucas Hernandez, briefly rekindling their hopes. However, the Newcastle fairy tale continued as defender Fabian Schar scored a fourth goal in stoppage time, sealing a remarkable victory that propelled Newcastle to the top of Group F with four points, one ahead of PSG in second place.

This defeat marked PSG's heaviest loss in the group stage of the Champions League since their 3-0 defeat against Chelsea in September 2004. It was also the first time PSG conceded four goals in a single group-stage game in the competition since their 3-4 loss to Deportivo La Coruna in March 2001.

Newcastle's coach, Eddie Howe, expressed his delight, saying, "So pleased for the players for what they have given me and the football club. It is such a good feeling for everyone here. Tactically it was two very good teams going up against each other. We had to try and unsettle them, and the crowd helped us do that. To score four goals was not something we expected to do."

Luis Enrique's PSG side had struggled domestically in Ligue 1 this season and had a poor record against English teams in the Champions League, with five defeats in their last seven encounters.

Throughout the match, PSG struggled to find their footing, failing to register a single shot on target in the first half, a first in a Champions League group-stage match since November 2013.

With the crowd rallying behind Newcastle in the wet conditions, Almiron's goal became a historic moment, marking the first time Newcastle had found the net in the competition since the era of Premier League legend Alan Shearer.

Newcastle's relentless pressure led to several fine saves by Donnarumma, and Burn's header, awarded after a lengthy VAR review, further solidified their lead. Longstaff's goal, though Donnarumma should have done better, brought Newcastle closer to an unforgettable triumph. Hernandez's goal briefly hinted at a PSG comeback, but it was Schar's long-range strike that provided the crowning glory for the jubilant hosts.

Luis Enrique, PSG's manager, accepted responsibility for the outcome, stating, "I am responsible for what happened this evening. My team's attitude was very good throughout. The outcome of the game was fair; my players struggled with their pressing game. We made some careless mistakes which at this level you cannot afford to do."

In the group's other Wednesday contest, Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan played to a goalless draw in Germany, marking Milan's second consecutive draw in the opening two matches of this season's Champions League.

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