Paris is known as the city of love. Well, Newcastle United suffered late, late heartbreak in this 1-1 draw at the Parc des Princes after Kylian Mbappe's controversial 98th-minute equaliser denied the Magpies a famous Champions League win against PSG.
Newcastle were on course for a precious three points when Tino Livramento was unjustly penalised for handball inside his own box by referee Szymon Marciniak following a VAR check. The well-respected official had, tellingly, played on and jogged away at first - even booking Goncalo Ramos after the PSG substitute joined his team-mates in surrounding him. However, after being sent to the monitor, Marciniak reversed his decision and pointed to the spot despite the ball ricocheting off Livramento's chest and onto his elbow.
Up stepped Kylian Mbappe to cancel out Alexander Isak's first-half opener and deny Newcastle one of the finest results in the club's history. No wonder a shattered Bruno Guimaraes and Isak collapsed to the turf at full-time. By that stage, Kieran Trippier was giving Mbappe a piece of his mind after the PSG star made a beeline for the England international, got in his face and pointed a finger.
READ MORE: PSG vs Newcastle United highlights
Emotions were running high. A 'really flat' Eddie Howe admitted he was 'still coming to terms with it'. Nick Pope said: "If they're penalties, it's bad for the game." Alexander Isak added the decision 'seemed cheap' even without seeing a replay. "It's never nice to concede a goal that late," the goal scorer told TNT Sport.
Late is right. Newcastle must have thought they had got over the line having otherwise kept PSG at bay on a night the hosts had 72% possession, 31 shots and three times as many corners. Fabian Schar, Lewis Miley and Kieran Trippier made some heroic blocks. Jamaal Lascelles stood tall when Mbappe tried to nutmeg him. The tireless Miguel Almiron tracked back time and time again.
On the rare occasions Newcastle's stubborn defensive shape was breached, Nick Pope was there to bail his side out, making one unbelievable save, in particular, to deny Bradley Barcola midway through the second half. It was a stop worthy of this stage - only for Mbappe to land a sucker punch at the death.
Newcastle's fate is out of their hands, but the Magpies are still alive in the so-called group of death. A win against AC Milan and a favour from Borussia Dortmund against PSG will see Eddie Howe's team through to the last 16. It feels like there are a couple more twists and turns to come yet and this game certainly had all the drama and feel of a knockout tie rather than a mere group fixture at a white-hot Parc des Princes. Eddie Howe called it a 'one-off game'. Opposite number Luis Enrique likened it to a 'final'. This really was do-or-die time.
Rather than trembling in fear, though, the Newcastle players spoke amongst themselves about what they would have given to have been in this situation when they were pushing to qualify for the Champions League at the back end of last season. They also knew they had a big performance in them - even amidst an injury crisis.
Newcastle, after all, had already defeated Arsenal, Man City, Aston Villa, Manchester United and Chelsea this season. Heck, the Magpies hammered PSG 4-1 the last time these sides met.
Pulling off another win against the Ligue 1 leaders at full strength is hard enough - it is an even bigger ask without 14 senior players. It said it all that Alex Murphy and Amadou Diallo, who were fresh from their Premier League debuts, could not even be named on the bench because the youngsters had not been at the club long enough to make UEFA's B list. That meant Newcastle really were down to the bare bones; first-team coach Simon Weatherstone even helped make up the numbers in a keep-ball session when the Magpies were put through their paces in training at the Parc des Princes on the eve of the game.
Perhaps, then, it was not a surprise that Howe named an unchanged side from the team that thumped Chelsea at the weekend. In truth, the Newcastle boss had little choice - even if he wanted to rotate - with two goalkeepers named on a depleted bench and Paul Dummett the only outfield player in reserve above the age of 19..
Yet this was still a strong starting line-up. In fact, there were eight survivors from the reverse fixture at St James' 55 days earlier as Howe's team looked to race out of the blocks once more having previously made slow starts on their travels at Signal Iduna Park and the San Siro, where the shot-shy visitors failed to score. Newcastle could not afford to be in any way sluggish against PSG, who quickly signalled their intent.
First Fabian Ruiz fired over from inside the box on the volley in the fourth minute. Then, just a few minutes later, Pope kept out Kylian Mbappe's clever flick with his feet after the forward got on the end of Achraf Hakimi's cross.
It was an early storm, but Newcastle weathered it and it was soon the visitors' turn to go close. Less than a quarter of an hour had been played when Miguel Almiron harried Hakimi deep in PSG's half and dispossessed the right-back. Almiron then did brilliantly to pick out the unmarked Alexander Isak, but the record signing skied his effort when he simply had to hit the target in a game like this.
You could see Newcastle take confidence from that opening, though, and the Magpies soon had another glimpse inside the box. This time, Bruno Guimaraes laid it off to Almiron, but Lee Kang-in nipped in with a sliding challenge just as the Paraguay international pulled the trigger.
Newcastle were growing into the game and the visitors were soon in front. Tino Livramento, supposedly playing out of position at left-back, did superbly to wriggle past half a dozen PSG players as he danced along the edge of the penalty area and slipped the ball to Miguel Almiron.
The Newcastle forward took a touch before arrowing an effort at goal and the unsighted Gianluigi Donnarumma could only feebly parry the ball into the path of Isak. The Sweden international gambled when several PSG players thought their goalkeeper had it covered and fired Newcastle in front to send 2,000 Geordies into dreamland.
PSG were stunned and struggled to find a way back into the game in the first half with Lewis Miley blocking Lee Kang-in's shot and Fabian Schar getting in the way of Ousmane Dembele's goal bound effort. On the rare occasions Newcastle's defence was breached, Pope was there to keep his side in front to deny Dembele.
Newcastle, as a result, went into the break in front. Although Newcastle expected an onslaught in the second half, it did not immediately come. PSG continued to struggle to find a way through the visitors' stubborn defensive shape until Enrique's side moved through the gears in the 56th minute and Pope rushed off his line to thwart Dembele. The Newcastle goalkeeper then made an extraordinary save midway through the second half to deny substitute Bradley Barcola from point-blank range.
There was still time for Mbappe to fire a rebound wide following Pope's save late on. Eight excruciating minutes of stoppage time were added on and Newcastle looked to have done enough - until Mbappe was given a gift from the spot.