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PSG snatches a draw against Newcastle and keeps its destiny in its hands for qualification

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PSG snatches a draw against Newcastle and keeps its destiny in its hands for qualification

Kylian Mbappé during the match between Paris-Saint-Germain and Newcastle, at the Parc des Princes, November 28, 2023. FRANCK FIFE / AFP

The 229th goal of Kylian Mbappé’s Parisian career is not the most difficult he has had to score but it will perhaps remain as one of the most important.

In the moment, of course, and in the “money time”, he only offered Paris-Saint-Germain (PSG) a draw against Newcastle (1-1), Tuesday November 28. But over the long term and over a two-week horizon – before the last day of the group stage of the Champions League – it allows the French club to keep its destiny in its hands.

Second in Group F, PSG could reach the round of 16 in the event of a victory, a draw or even a defeat on December 13 in Dortmund – the German club for its part won on Tuesday evening on the AC pitch Milan (3-1). But without Mbappé’s goal, he would have entered this last match in third place, behind Borussia and the Magpies, his destiny then depending on the results of the other teams.

Everything is still possible but the frustration is great for PSG, who hoped to qualify on Tuesday evening and wash away the insult received in the first leg in England (1-4).

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Before long minutes spent in apnea throughout the second half, the Parisian evening had started well, with good news. An hour before the match kicked off, the supporters cheered their goalkeeper Sergio Rico, back in Paris for the first time, six months to the day after his horse riding accident which had plunged him into a coma for several weeks.

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Then the good first ten minutes of PSG seemed to confirm that the evening promised to be good. The Parisian movements were incisive and Kylian Mbappé immediately forced the Magpies goalkeeper, Nick Pope, to make a save (9th); The first of a long series. Since the start of the season, the Parisian team has attacked well, is frequently dangerous and is sovereign at home. But she sometimes seems helpless on the defensive level, offering too many opportunities to her opponents.

Pope’s miracles

During one of these gaps, Tuesday evening, PSG first saw Alexander Isak fortunately waste a huge chance to score on a double error from Achraf Hakimi and Gianluigi Donnarumma (12th). But the relief was short-lived. The Swedish striker from Newcastle found the opening and gave his team the advantage following a poorly repelled shot by the Parisian goalkeeper (25th).

From then on, the scenario of the meeting most often boiled down to a simple confrontation between the Parisian attack and the English defense, PSG harvesting its many attempts – thirty-one shots against five for its opponents. “We can’t afford to have so many chances and not score”lamented Kylian Mbappé after the match.

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