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.
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.
Controversial Newcastle handball vs. PSG
— Taylor Twellman (@TaylorTwellman) November 28, 2023
"It IS a penalty."Our rules expert @ChristinaUnkel explains why PSG were awarded a penalty against Newcastle. pic.twitter.com/rt3utebW4z
— CBS Sports Golazo ⚽️ (@CBSSportsGolazo) November 28, 2023
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.
It was a huge goal for Luis Enrique's side who had contrived to waste chance after chance and were seconds away from dropping down to third place in the group and in grave danger of failing to progress from the group stage to the knockout rounds for the first time since 2004-05.
As it is they are still not certain to make the last 16 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.
Newcastle have five points and face Milan (5) in their final game with both of those sides still in with a chance of finishing second depending on PSG's result in Germany.
"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."
⚪️⚫️ Eddie Howe: “I don’t think that was a penalty. We know that when it hits a body part first and his hands are low, it's not a penalty”.“I feel really flat, but pleased with what the players have given”, told TNT. pic.twitter.com/Pl65rjUUvb
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) November 28, 2023
Newcastle vs. PSG full highlights
(Reporting by Martyn Herman; editing by Clare Fallon and Toby Davis)