Wednesday, November 29, 2023



Paris St-Germain 1-1 Newcastle: Why was controversial late penalty given?

Ally McCoist branded it a "disgrace", while Jermaine Jenas said Newcastle were "robbed" as a controversial late penalty decision denied Eddie Howe's side a memorable victory at Paris St-Germain.Aleksander Isak's first-half goal in Tuesday's Champions League tie had looked set to stun the hosts, as missed chances and some big saves from Nick Pope gave the visiting fans hope that their side were going to complete a double over the French champions in Group F.But, in the eighth minute of stoppage time, Ousmane Dembele's cross appeared to strike Tino Livramento's body and the ball bounced up on to his arm.After referee Szymon Marciniak reviewed the incident on the pitchside monitor, he awarded a spot-kick, which Kylian Mbappe duly despatched to secure a 1-1 draw. "What is Livramento meant to do with his arms? Wrap them round his back? I'm fuming," former Newcastle midfielder Jenas said on TNT Sports. "The players threw everything at it and it should have been one of those historic wins. Newcastle have been robbed."McCoist, commentating on the game for TNT, added: "That is absolutely never a penalty. If we're giving a penalty for that, then it is a disgrace."The game was being officiated by one of the world's best referees, with Marciniak having been in the middle for the 2022 World Cup final between Argentina and France; he also took charge of June's Champions League final between Manchester City and Inter Milan.He had earlier waved away PSG appeals for a penalty after Anthony Gordon had appeared to foul Achraf Hakimi inside the box, and he again initially dismissed calls from PSG players for a spot-kick following the Livramento incident.But, after being urged by the video assistant referee to check the monitor, he felt there was enough there to give the hosts the 98th-minute penalty."The referee is the best in the business and was great for the majority of the night," added McCoist."It comes off his chest and hits his left elbow... that's absolutely never a penalty. The whole night will be remembered for that decision."Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer posted on X: "A superb battling away performance from every single player. Shouldn't be spoilt by a disgusting decision."What does the handball law say?According to the laws of the game, when deciding a handball decision in a game, referees have three key considerations:Whether it is a "deliberate action" by the player - ie have they moved their arm towards the ball?;The proximity of the player from the ball and the speed it hits them on the arm/hand;If the the hand or arm is in "an unnatural position", - ie away from the bodyIn the case of the Livramento handball, the referee deemed that even if it was not deliberate and the Newcastle defender was unable to react quickly enough, his arm was in an unnatural position.Would it have been given in the Premier League?Where it becomes more complicated for fans, players and managers to understand is that, around the laws of the game, different competitions can include additional mitigation for referees to consider.In the Premier League, allowances are made by officials for when the ball strikes another part of the body first, prior to it hitting the player's arm.On that basis, it is possible Livramento would not have been penalised had it been a Premier League match.In April, the Uefa football board - an independent advisory group - recommended that "Uefa should clarify that no handball offence should be called on a player if the ball is previously deflected from his own body".Keith Hackett, former general manager of the Professional Game Match Officials Limited (PGMOL), the English referees' body, told the Daily Telegraphexternal-link that Uefa did not implement this recommendation for its own competitions."Last April, in their guidelines for the upcoming season, the Uefa board recommended that there should be clarity that no handball offence should be called on a player if the ball is previously deflected from their own body," Hackett said. "But this recommendation was not implemented - and Newcastle paid the price at the Parc des Princes."'I can't say my inner thoughts'Regardless of how the rules were interpreted, Newcastle boss Eddie Howe was not happy with the decision."I didn't think it was a penalty," he said."What you don't take into account with those replays is how quick the ball goes. It hits his chest first. If it hits his hands first, well it's still not a penalty because he's so close. But you can make more of a case."It's not a penalty when it hits his chest first and then hits his hand, which is low. I'm not allowed to sum it up. I can't say my inner thoughts obviously."I thought the referee was having a good game up until this moment. He had been strong."Victory for Newcastle would have put their Group F destiny in their own hands.However, the draw means that to progress to the last 16, they must beat AC Milan in their final group game and hope Borussia Dortmund avoid defeat against PSG.

Lewis Miley’s talent shines through for Newcastle in PSG power struggle | Jonathan Liew

Power finds a way. Albeit for Paris Saint-Germain, the road to redemption here would consist of a scandalous late penalty, a midfield made of sugar syrup and some of the worst distance shooting seen this side of a Soccer AM Crossbar Challenge. At full-time the Parc des Princes roared with relief, heaved and exhaled, not with conviction but with the begrudging acceptance of something stolen, not earned.And this really was tough on Newcastle, who were 97 minutes in to perhaps their greatest ever away win in Europe. Annihilated by injuries and with about three grown adults on their bench, they weathered everything the world’s richest club and the world’s greatest forward could throw at them: a home crowd, chances saved and blocked and thwarted, the sort of pressure that makes the Montpelliers and Lyons of this world crumble on a weekly basis.But once the mist clears and the righteous rage dissipates, perhaps a curious kind of clarity will emerge. For ultimately this was a game that deserved better than to be remembered for Kylian Mbappé and a dodgy refereeing call. It was a night of pure Magpie masochism, a night when Eddie Howe’s team went nose-to-nose against one of the continent’s giants, a night when a 17-year-old from County Durham made his name on the game’s biggest stage.Lewis Miley wants the football. He craves it as only a kid can crave it. There is a restlessness and a tension to him that is most visible when the ball is somewhere else. He twitches and twists: four steps this way, three steps that way, a shuffle, a hop, a little sprint into space. Those who watched him play for the under-21s last season noted that he often looked out of sync with his team-mates, for the simple reason that he was just so much better than them, making the kind of runs they would never find, anticipating danger that would never materialise.Well, here was the danger. It came primarily from Mbappé on the Paris left, and with Miley stationed on the right of a midfield three his job was one of deterrence as much as threat. There were the three crucial blocks: one from Fabián Ruiz on his own penalty spot, one from Lee Kang-in when he decided not to challenge for the loose ball and instead decided to close down the angle, one in the second half from Bradley Barcola that earned him a meaty slap on the shoulder from Kieran Trippier.And there was something strangely stirring about the way Miley and Trippier, Newcastle’s youngest and oldest players, already seem to have found a common wavelength. Trippier was of course excellent, winning the ball from Mbappé early on with the sort of perfectly clean tackle you only really see in sportswear adverts. But even when Mbappé got away from him Miley was there, like the Bond girl smashing the bad guy in the face with her handbag when all hope appears lost. Mbappé moved into the centre not long after that.Yet even amid the defensive rearguard, we also caught a glimpse of Miley’s gift going forward. Newcastle’s goal was a wonderful ensemble piece: 41 seconds and 10 passes in which Paris couldn’t get a foot on the ball and every Newcastle outfield player bar Fabian Schär did. Everyone here did what they do best: Bruno Guimarães squirming out of trouble, Miguel Almirón shuffling and scuttling like a player being operated by a child mashing the buttons on an Xbox, Tino Livramento striding boldly into the penalty area like a full-back who really doesn’t want to be a full-back.skip past newsletter promotionafter newsletter promotionMiley, meanwhile, was the key to the whole move: drifting wide to overload Lucas Hernández, and then making the overlapping run that allowed Almirón to advance 25 yards up the pitch. Both in attack and defence, there is an instinctive intelligence at work here: a player who simply intuits where the ball is going to be in three seconds, just as Jude Bellingham did at a similar age. Is he a No 6, a No 8, a No 10? Nobody really knows yet. But he’ll be playing for England within three years.And of course the irony is that Miley would probably not have been playing at all had it not been for Newcastle’s acute injury crisis. On a night when Paris fielded an all-Parisian front three, it was a reminder, perhaps, that even in the state-fuelled vanity project there is room for the green shoots of joy, for a local hero, for something organic and real. Perhaps in the end, power always finds a way. But – and this is the hope that must sustain football even in its dystopian dog days – so too does talent.

Paris St-Germain 1-1 Newcastle: Late Kylian Mbappe penalty denies visitors win

Kylian Mbappe scored a controversial late penalty to deny Newcastle an impressive win at Parc des Princes but the draw keeps the visitors in the fight to reach the Champions League knockout stages.The spot-kick was awarded after review by the video assistant referee, with referee Szymon Marciniak consulting the pitchside monitor before ruling Tino Livramento had handled the ball inside the box when blocking a cross.It was a cruel blow for Eddie Howe's side, who had looked on course to secure a hugely impressive win after Aleksander Isak struck in the first half when Miguel Almiron's effort had been pushed to the striker's feet.Newcastle then defended with everything they had to keep out PSG and Nick Pope made a superb save from close range to deny first Bradley Barcola and then Kylian Mbappe, who drove the rebound just wide.But the visitors' resolve was broken deep in stoppage time when PSG were awarded the penalty, from which Mbappe made no mistake.The result means Newcastle are third in Group F, two points behind second-placed PSG. Eddie Howe's side now need to beat AC Milan in their final group game and hope already qualified Borussia Dortmund get a result against PSG.Controversial penalty breaks Newcastle's heartsThe finish to this game will have been devastating for Newcastle after they had put in a brilliant display of fight and bravery to keep out the hosts for 97 minutes.Howe's side had arrived in Paris impacted by a lengthy injury list as they named two goalkeepers on their bench alongside four teenagers.But those who played gave everything and more as they came within seconds of another huge result on their Champions League return.They rode their luck at times, with Mbappe and Barcola both missing some big opportunities, and it looked like it was going to be Newcastle's night.But in the last minute of eight added on in stoppage time, Ousmane Dembele's cross struck the chest of Livramento - who had been excellent throughout - and the ball bounced up onto his arm.Referee Marciniak had earlier dismissed a similar penalty claim for an Anthony Gordon challenge inside the box, but this time decided to award the spot-kick as Mbappe rescued his side.But the decision seemed harsh on Newcastle and the result means progress to the last 16 is now not in their hands.Player of the matchLivramentoTino Livramentowith an average of 8.24Paris Saint GermainSquad number7Player nameMbappéAverage rating4.49Squad number99Player nameG DonnarummaAverage rating4.34Squad number2Player nameHakimiAverage rating4.32Squad number10Player nameDembéléAverage rating4.23Squad number19Player nameLee Kang-inAverage rating4.16Squad number37Player nameSkriniarAverage rating4.04Squad number23Player nameKolo MuaniAverage rating4.03Squad number15Player nameDanilo PereiraAverage rating4.03Squad number21Player nameHernándezAverage rating3.95Squad number8Player nameRuizAverage rating3.95Squad number29Player nameBarcolaAverage rating3.87Squad number17Player nameVitinhaAverage rating3.86Squad number4Player nameUgarteAverage rating3.85Squad number11Player nameAsensioAverage rating3.56Squad number9Player nameGonçalo RamosAverage rating3.49Newcastle UnitedSquad number21Player nameLivramentoAverage rating8.24Squad number22Player namePopeAverage rating8.19Squad number14Player nameIsakAverage rating8.06Squad number24Player nameAlmirónAverage rating8.04Squad number2Player nameTrippierAverage rating8.01Squad number67Player nameMileyAverage rating7.98Squad number5Player nameSchärAverage rating7.89Squad number6Player nameLascellesAverage rating7.84Squad number39Player nameBruno GuimarãesAverage rating7.82Squad number7Player nameJoelintonAverage rating7.77Squad number10Player nameGordonAverage rating7.67Line-upsPSGFormation 4-3-399G Donnarumma2Hakimi37Skriniar15Danilo21Hernández8Ruiz4Ugarte19Lee Kang-in10Dembélé23Kolo Muani7Mbappé99G DonnarummaBooked at 72mins2Hakimi37SkriniarBooked at 60mins15DaniloSubstituted forGonçalo Ramosat 85'minutesBooked at 90mins21Hernández8Ruiz4UgarteBooked at 36minsSubstituted forVitinhaat 62'minutes19Lee Kang-inBooked at 54minsSubstituted forAsensioat 82'minutes10DembéléBooked at 58mins23Kolo MuaniSubstituted forBarcolaat 62'minutes7MbappéSubstitutes9Gonçalo Ramos11Asensio17Vitinha26Mukiele28Soler29Barcola30Letellier80TenasNewcastleFormation 4-3-322Pope2Trippier6Lascelles5Schär21Livramento67Miley39Bruno Guimarães7Joelinton24Almirón14Isak10Gordon22PopeBooked at 90mins2Trippier6Lascelles5Schär21Livramento67Miley39Bruno Guimarães7JoelintonBooked at 22mins24AlmirónBooked at 83mins14Isak10GordonSubstitutes1Dúbravka3Dummett18Karius20Hall55Ndiweni58Huntley63ParkinsonReferee:Szymon MarciniakAttendance:46,435Match StatsLive TextPost updateMatch ends, Paris Saint Germain 1, Newcastle United 1.

Wednesday’s gossip column: Broja, Varane, Ramsdale, Werner, Malen, Sudakov, Provedel

Chelsea are prepared to reject Fulham's interest in Albania striker Armando Broja, 22, in January. (Evening Standard)external-linkArsenal are willing to let England goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale leave at the end of the season but will not let the 25-year-old go in the January transfer window. (90min)external-linkDutch midfielder Donny van de Beek, 26, says he will make a January move away from Manchester United if he does not start playing more games, revealing that a summer move to Real Sociedad fell through. (Diario AS, via Sky Sports)external-linkManchester United are hoping to strengthen in four positions in January, including in defensive midfield with concerns over 27-year-old Morocco midfielder Sofyan Amrabat's season so far. (Guardian)external-linkFrance defender Raphael Varane, 30, and England midfielder Mason Mount, 24, are among the Manchester United players at risk of being replaced. (Guardian, via Express)external-linkBayern Munich have discussed the possibility of signing Varane from Manchester United but do not think a deal is realistic. (Sky Germany - in German)external-linkTottenham are interested in Blackburn Rovers' England midfielder Adam Wharton, 19. (90min)external-linkUkraine and Chelsea striker Mykhailo Mudryk, 22, wants the club to sign his former Shakhtar Donetsk and national team mate Georgiy Sudakov, 21, in the January transfer window with the two striking up a strong partnership during their time together in Ukraine. (Gazzetta dello Sport - in Italian)external-linkEngland Under-17 forward Mason Cotcher has been training with Arsenal's first-team squad after leaving Sunderland but the Gunners face competition from Rangers for the 17-year-old's signature. (Telegraph - subscription required)external-linkManchester United are interested in 29-year-old Lazio goalkeeper Ivan Provedel but the Serie A club will only sell the Italian for £30m. (Il Messaggero, via Football Italia)external-linkMystery starCan you tell who Wednesday's Premier League player is?Germany striker Timo Werner, 27, is prepared to stay at RB Leipzig and fight for his place in the side rather than move to Manchester United in January. (Metro)external-linkChelsea do not have an agreement in place with Corinthians for 18-year-old midfielder Gabriel Moscardo and a move for the Brazilian is not imminent. (Fabrizio Romano)external-linkParis St-Germain and a number of other Premier League clubs are keen on Moscardo with Corinthians holding out for a deal worth £26m. (ESPN)external-linkBorussia Dortmund winger Donyell Malen, 24, remains a key target for Liverpool with manager Jurgen Klopp a big admirer of the Netherlands international. (Bild, via Teamtalk)external-linkReal Betis have not given up hope of persuading Argentina midfielder Guido Rodriguez, 29, to reject Manchester United and Barcelona and stay with the Seville club. (Marca - in Spanish)external-link

Watford 3-2 Norwich City: Brilliant Yaser Asprilla goal completes comeback victory for Hornets

Yaser Asprilla's delightful strike completed a brilliant Watford fightback from two goals down against Norwich City.The Colombia international showed quick feet to dance the ball around Canaries goalkeeper George Long and finish to win it for the Hornets in the second half.Norwich seemed to be on course for a third consecutive victory as a header from Danny Batth and a stunning strike by South Korea forward Hwang Ui-jo put them two goals up after only 12 minutes.Watford are made of sterner stuff under manager Valerien Ismael, however, and they fought back to parity after Ismael Kone's fierce drive and a Mileta Rajovic header changed the game inside three minutes.Norwich appeared to be turning their season around after wins over Cardiff City and Queens Park Rangers but they remain unconvincing, despite hitting the Hornets with a quick double.Watford only had themselves to blame in the third minute as Gabriel Sara swung a corner kick to the far post and Batth's only competition was team-mate Hwang as he firmly headed home.Vicarage Road was again stunned into silence after more slack work, this time from Ryan Porteous, who gifted Sara the ball on halfway. He freed Hwang, who sent a dipping shot in an arc over the head of rooted goalkeeper Ben Hamer, standing in for the suspended Daniel Bachmann.Hwang was forced off with an injury after 17 minutes and replaced by Ashley Barnes, but Kone fired Watford back into the reckoning, out of the blue on the half-hour mark, the ball arrowing into the bottom corner before Long could react.The Norwich lead was rubbed out entirely three minutes later as Jamal Lewis stood up a cross to the far post and Rajovic tucked away his seventh league goal of the season.Both sides were shooting on sight, as Norwich's Adam Idah forced Hamer to parry, and at the other end Long had to be sharp to turn Asprilla's rising drive over the bar and was then grateful to see Edo Kayembe's fierce effort narrowly clear the bar.That was part of a strong finish to the half by a resurgent Watford, and they kept up the pressure after the break, continuing to pepper the Norwich goal.Kone struck the underside of the bar, and Kayembe forced Long into a full-length save, but the willingness to have a bash from range finally paid off in the 77th minute.Defender Wesley Hoedt let fly from 25 yards to force the parry from Long which gave Asprilla the chance to show his twinkling footwork and take the three points.Watford manager Valerien Ismael told BBC Three Counties Radio:"After 2-0 we started our game. The players stayed calm, stuck to the gameplan, and bit by bit came back into the game, scored the first goal and came back quickly with the second goal."After that we knew we were back in the game and dominated and controlled Norwich completely."I am proud of the boys, the performance and attitude, the trust in each other to keep passing the ball and not blame anyone. For that it was a brilliant performance.[On Kone]: "It was his best performance, a complete performance. We had a feeling when he came back from the international break he was really tired against Leicester but [tonight] he was rested, had slept for nine or ten hours, and gave us the feeling he was really ready."Norwich City manager David Wagner told BBC Radio Norfolk:"We started very well. But unfortunately, the substitution of Ui-Jo shocked the players."This affected us and we were not able to come back to what we have shown in the first 30 minutes."You cannot do mistakes like we [did] before the goals, which we conceded. This is what cost us."Second half we didn't play well in possession, we had so many missed passes."Line-upsWatfordFormation 4-3-326Hamer45Andrews5Porteous4Hoedt6Lewis39Kayembe8Livermore11Koné18Asprilla9Rajovic12Sema26Hamer45Andrews5Porteous4Hoedt6Lewis39Kayembe8LivermoreBooked at 18minsSubstituted forPollockat 90+4'minutes11Koné18AsprillaSubstituted forMartinsat 83'minutes9RajovicSubstituted forBayoat 83'minutes12SemaSubstituted forSierraltaat 90+3'minutesSubstitutes3Sierralta7Ince10Louza14Healey15Pollock19Bayo24Dele-Bashiru37Martins40RobertsNorwichFormation 4-2-3-112Long3Stacey24Duffy21Batth30Giannoulis23McLean17Gomes Sara16Fassnacht31Hwang Ui-jo25Hernández11Idah12Long3StaceyBooked at 35minsSubstituted forFisherat 68'minutes24DuffyBooked at 64mins21BatthSubstituted forNúñezat 84'minutes30GiannoulisBooked at 90mins23McLean17Gomes Sara16FassnachtSubstituted forSainzat 83'minutesBooked at 90mins31Hwang Ui-joSubstituted forBarnesat 17'minutes25Hernández11IdahSubstituted forGibbsat 67'minutesSubstitutes7Sainz8Gibbs10Barnes15McCallum26Núñez35Fisher39Reyes42Springett50WarnerReferee:Simon HooperAttendance:16,714Match StatsLive TextPost updateMatch ends, Watford 3, Norwich City 2.

Barcelona 2-1 FC Porto: Spanish side reach last 16 after coming from behind

Barcelona came back from a goal behind to beat Porto and seal a spot in the Champions League last 16.Brazilian winger Pepe hammered home a rebound to give the Portuguese visitors the lead after half an hour.However, Porto's advantage lasted just two minutes as Joao Cancelo equalised with a stunning curling strike after cutting inside from the left.Porto goalkeeper Inaki Pena made several fine saves before Joao Felix tucked home a 56th-minute winner.Barcelona are guaranteed to qualify from Group H with Porto and Shakhtar Donetsk - who are both three points behind - playing each other in their final game.Although they have not yet won the group, they will only need to avoid defeat against point-less Royal Antwerp to finish top.Line-upsBarcelonaFormation 4-3-313Peña Sotorres4Araujo23Koundé5Martínez2Cancelo8Pedri22Gündogan21F de Jong11Raphinha9Lewandowski14João Félix13Peña Sotorres4Araujo23Koundé5Martínez2CanceloSubstituted forBaldeat 82'minutes8Pedri22Gündogan21F de JongBooked at 37mins11RaphinhaSubstituted forYamalat 90'minutes9Lewandowski14João FélixBooked at 59minsSubstituted forF Torresat 75'minutesSubstitutes3Balde7F Torres15Christensen17Alonso18Romeu20Roberto26Astralaga27Yamal30Casadó31Kochen32LópezFC PortoFormation 4-4-299Diogo Costa23Neto Lopes2Cardoso3Pepe12Sanusi11Aquino Cossa6Eustáquio22Varela13Rodrigues do Nascimento Galeno30de Lima Barbosa9Taremi99Diogo Costa23Neto LopesBooked at 57minsSubstituted forSánchezat 67'minutes2CardosoBooked at 36minsSubstituted forNamasoat 90'minutes3Pepe12Sanusi11Aquino CossaBooked at 74mins6EustáquioSubstituted forGonzálezat 81'minutes22Varela13Rodrigues do Nascimento GalenoSubstituted forMartínezat 90'minutes30de Lima BarbosaSubstituted forFernandes da Conceiçãoat 81'minutes9TaremiSubstitutes8Grujic10Fernandes da Conceição14Morais Ramos15Sánchez16González17Jaime19Namaso20Russo Franco21Navarro28Silva Baró29Martínez70Albuquerque BorgesReferee:Daniele OrsatoAttendance:43,533Match StatsLive TextPost updateMatch ends, Barcelona 2, FC Porto 1.

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