UEFA Champions League

Newcastle suffer late heartbreak, Man City march on

28 Nov 2023
A Isak

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Newcastle United suffered late heartbreak as Paris Saint-Germain hit a 98th-minute penalty equaliser, but the Magpies' hopes of qualifying to the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League are still alive following their 1-1 Group F draw in France.

It was business almost as usual for Manchester City, who fought back from 2-0 down to secure top spot in Group G with a 3-2 win over RB Leipzig.

How Newcastle's match unfolded

Newcastle named an unchanged starting XI to the side that thumped Chelsea 4-1 at the weekend, meaning a full Champions League debut for 17-year-old midfielder Lewis Miley.

Eddie Howe was missing 11 senior players through injury or suspension, and was able to name only seven players on the bench, including two goalkeepers and four teenagers.

Newcastle, who needed a draw to take matters to the final night, appeared a little overawed in the opening stages; PSG's Fabian Ruiz skied an effort over and then Magpies' goalkeeper Nick Pope brilliantly cleared Kylian Mbappe's flicked effort with his legs.

Howe's side grew in confidence and Alexander Isak made amends for squandering a good chance minutes earlier with the opening goal after 24 minutes.

Teenager Miley played a crucial role in the build-up with a decoy run that created space for Miguel Almiron to shoot after a weaving run by Tino Livramento, and although goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma parried Almiron's effort, Isak reacted quickest to tap home the loose ball.

Isak goal
Isak celebration

PSG, who had been beaten 4-1 at St James' Park on Matchday 2 on 4 October, were frustrated by a resolute Newcastle rearguard that blocked, cleared and put their bodies on the line superbly.

Pope made another important save, this time racing off his line to make a block from Ousmane Dembele as PSG pushed for a second-half equaliser.

PSG twice had penalty appeals waved away following a VAR review, Pope brilliantly denied Bradley Barcola and then Mbappe from close-range and it looked as if battling Newcastle were going to hold out for a famous win.

But in the eighth minute of added time Livramento was adjudged to have handled the ball, and Mbappe made no mistake from the spot.

Newcastle must now beat AC Milan in their final match on 13 December at St James' Park and hope that Borussia Dortmund can deny PSG a win if they are to progress into the last 16 of the competition.

Group F standings
Team Pts Goal difference
Dortmund 10 +3
PSG 7 +1
Newcastle 5 0
AC Milan 5 -4
How Man City's match unfolded

Man City's players had walked out in retro shirts on a day in which a statue dedicated to club legends Colin Bell, Francis Lee and Mike Summerbee had been unveiled earlier outside Etihad Stadium.

Yet it took a vintage second-half display from Pep Guardiola's side to battle back from a 2-0 deficit and protect their unbeaten home run in Europe, with Lyon the last team to win at Etihad Stadium in 2018.

City started the night with their place in the knockout phase of the competition already confirmed for the 11th consecutive season.

Leipzig, on their third visit to Etihad in three years, had conceded 13 goals in their past two visits - including seven times as recently as March.

Leipzig went ahead on 13 minutes with the simplest of goals - a long punt forward by keeper Janis Blaswich picked out Lois Openda who got the better of Manuel Akanji before calmly slotting his shot past Stefan Ortega.

Matters went from bad to worse for Guardiola's side after 33 minutes, Openda netting again to become the first player to score a first-half Champions League brace at Man City since Tottenham Hotspur's Son Heung-min achieved the feat in 2019.

Guardiola, who had come back once from a two-goal deficit in his Champions League managerial career while manager of Bayern Munich against Juventus, made a double substitution that turned the tie on its head.

Jeremy Doku and Julian Alvarez replaced Jack Grealish and Kyle Walker, who was making his 50th Champions League appearance, and the move quickly paid off.

Within seconds of their introduction Phil Foden set up Erling Haaland to fire home his fifth Champions League goal of the season and his 40th in only 35 appearances, a record in the competition.

Haaland goal

City's machine had clicked into gear and there was to be no stopping them.

Foden hauled his side level with 20 minutes remaining with a sublime touch and finish to set up a grandstand finale.

Leipzig's Fabio Carvalho, on loan from Liverpool, had a goal struck off for offside before Alvarez sent the Etihad faithful into ecstasy with three minutes remaining, lashing home the winner from close-range after Foden's pass was deflected into his path.

Alvarez goal
Alvarez, Lewis
Group G standings
Team Pts Goal difference
Man City 15 +10
RB Leipzig 10 +2
Young Boys 5 -5
Red Star Belgrade 4 -7

 

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