Late Mbappé penalty rescues draw for PSG against Newcastle


Why VAR was wrong to award PSG a penalty for handball vs. Newcastle

Dale Johnson reacts after VAR Tomasz Kwiatkowski was removed from duty by UEFA for another Champions League game.

Kylian Mbappé struck a controversial penalty deep in stoppage time to earn Paris Saint-Germain a 1-1 draw against a valiant Newcastle United and keep their Champions League destiny in their own hands on Tuesday.

The visitors had led the Group F clash since midway through the opening half thanks to Alexander Isak's tap-in and they weathered a furious late assault from the hosts only to be denied by a cruel and highly-contentious decision.

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PSG's players howled loudly for handball when the ball bounced off Newcastle's Tino Livramento's chest and on to his elbow with referee Szymon Marciniak then invited to check the pitchside monitor by the VAR official.

To Newcastle's horror, Marciniak, who had turned down a more likely penalty earlier, pointed to the spot and Mbappé was as cool as a cucumber to fire high past keeper Nick Pope in the eighth minute of stoppage time.

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It was a massive goal for Luis Enrique's side who had contrived to fritter away chances and were seconds away from dropping down to third place which would have left them in grave danger of failing to progress from the group stage to the knockout rounds for the first time since 2004-05.

They are still in danger but their prospects certainly look a lot better. They have seven points from five games and face already qualified Borussia Dortmund (10) away in their final game. Victory in Germany will seal PSG's place in the last-16.

Newcastle have five points and host AC Milan (5) in their final game needing to win while hoping PSG fail to beat Dortmund. Milan could also still qualify with a win on what will be a nervous concluding night to the tightest of groups.

After damaging home and away defeats to Dortmund and with a lengthy injury list, Newcastle produced a superb rearguard action after Isak had tucked away a rebound in the 24th minute when PSG keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma had spilled Miguel Almirón's low shot into his path.

PSG will point to the fact that they had more than 30 goal attempts. But a combination of wasteful finishing and an inspired Newcastle keeper Nick Pope left them on the brink of a second group defeat by Newcastle after a 4-1 spanking away.

But Mbappé's cool finish means they have now lost only one of their last 36 group stage matches in the competition at home.

"I'm still coming to terms with it," Newcastle manager Eddie Howe told TNT Sport. "It hit his chest first. The referee is under pressure here with the crowd and the pressure is extreme and in the last seconds he's given it."

Newcastle withstood a fast start by PSG with Pope saving brilliantly from Mbappé's sublime flick.

Pope also denied Ousmane Dembélé in the first half but the real siege began midway through the second half.

Substitute Bradley Barcola was denied by a sensational Pope save and missed an open goal late on while Mbappé was also guilty of glaring misses as Newcastle hung on grimly.