The Roar
The Roar


'What a load of s--t': Newcastle left fuming after VAR 'robbery' cruels Magpies out of famous PSG win

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28th November, 2023

Manchester City and Newcastle United have both been involved in highly dramatic, and in the Magpies’ case controversial, endings to their Champions League matches.

In Paris, the hosts netted a controversial 97th-minute penalty to earn a share of the points with Newcastle.

Alexander Isak had given the visitors the lead on 24 minutes but they were left heartbroken after a VAR decision for handball, originally waved away by the referee, led to Kylian Mbappe firing home from the penalty spot.

Referee Szymon Marciniak, who controlled both last year’s Final and the World Cup Final, had been excellent amid a fervent atmosphere at the Parc des Princes, but erred in awarding the late spot kick.

The VAR had suggested that he take a second look at a handball – having initially ruled play on – and subsequently gave the penalty, despite a deflection hitting Tino Livramento’s body, then arm. Typically, handball is not given if the first contact is with a legal part of the body.

“It’s bordering on a robbery,” said Ally McCoist on the UK coverage. “If I was playing I’d have a real feeling of injustice.

“It comes off Livramento’s chest and hits his elbow. That is absolutely never a penalty. If we’re giving a penalty for that then it is a disgrace.”


Ex-Newcastle midfielder Jermaine Jenas was even more strident.

“I think it’s a shocker,” he said. “The referee had such a good game but he’s caved really.

“For that to happen, in that moment like that, after Newcastle performed the way they did, it doesn’t feel right. It’s a bitter pill to swallow.”

Club legend Alan Shearer didn’t mince his words on social media, either, describing the call as “a load of shit”.

Defending champions City came from two goals down at halftime to beat RB Leipzig at Etihad Stadium on Tuesday night (Wednesday AEDT).


Phil Foden created two and scored another to keep Pep Guardiola’s side unbeaten after five Group G matches.

Erling Haaland also netted to break another record as City produced an emphatic response to Lois Openda’s first-half double. The Norwegian became the fastest player to reach 40 goals in the competition, in just 35 appearances.

Substitute Julian Alvarez came off the bench to wrap up the fightback in the 87th minute.

Elsewhere in Group F, Borussia Dortmund advanced to the next stage with a 3-1 victory at AC Milan.

The Germans moved top of the table, three points ahead of PSG with seven-time champions Milan and Newcastle a further two adrift.

In Barcelona, Portuguese duo Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo each scored as the hosts defeated FC Porto 2-1 to secure their return to the knockout round after two consecutive group-stage eliminations.


Earlier in Rome, Ciro Immobile bagged a double in the final 10 minutes as Lazio beat Celtic 2-0 to end the Scottish champions’ interest in Europe this season.

Already unable to qualify for the last 16, Celtic’s hopes of booking their spot in the Europa League with a third-place group finish also evaporated.

The same fate has befallen Royal Antwerp after a 1-0 loss to Shakhtar Donetsk in Hamburg for their fifth defeat in as many matches.

Mykola Matviyenko’s 12th-minute diving header kept the Ukrainian side in the hunt for a place in the knockout stage.

In other results, Atletico Madrid sealed their progress along with Lazio out of Group E thanks to a 3-1 win at Feyenoord, while Young Boys beat Red Star Belgrade 2-0.

With AAP