Newcastle United welcomed Champions League football back to St James’ Park in style as Paris St-Germain were overpowered in a highly charged atmosphere on Tyneside.

The French champions – including superstar Kylian Mbappe – found the atmosphere and intensity on and off the pitch just too much as Eddie Howe’s side secured a richly deserved win in Newcastle’s first home game in Europe’s elite competition since a 2-0 defeat by Barcelona in March 2003.

The Toon Army had already transformed St James’ Park into four walls of black and white even before Miguel Almiron sent them wild by giving them a 17th-minute lead after PSG keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma could only palm out Alexander Isak’s shot, as Marquinhos was punished for carelessly conceding possession.

It was to prove an eventful night for Italy keeper Donnarumma, who tried in vain to claw out Dan Burn’s towering header six minutes before half-time. The ball had already crossed the line but Newcastle still had to wait for a video assistant referee check for offside before the celebrations could begin.

Donnarumma was a central figure again as Newcastle went three up five minutes after the break, the goalkeeper’s poor attempt at a block allowing Sean Longstaff’s powerful shot from an angle to creep in.

PSG’s threats were rare but they did pull one back after 56 minutes through Lucas Hernandez’s header – but this was Newcastle’s night from start to finish.

Swiss centre-back Fabian Schar added the icing on the cake in stoppage time as he curled a stunning shot past Donnarumma from the edge of the box into the top corner to make it 4-1.

The three points, added to an opening draw away to AC Milan, mean Newcastle go top of Group F.

“We are really pleased. It was a brilliant effort from the players,” Newcastle boss Eddie Howe told reporters.

“It was a different game. It was a cat and mouse between the two, we were trying to press them and they were trying to play through us.

“We were successful a couple of times which led to big goals for us, so I am delighted with the players commitment.”

Mbappe threat snuffed out

Mbappe was the man Newcastle’s fans feared, his early touches greeted with a cacophony of jeering, which he met by almost creating an early goal for Ousmane Dembele, who volleyed a great chance wide.

That was just about it for the world-class forward, who cut a frustrated and marginalised figure for the rest of the night, often outnumbered by Newcastle defenders and not on the same wavelength of his PSG team-mates on a desperately poor night for Luis Enrique’s side.

Mbappe is obviously the centrepiece of PSG’s plans but for how long with Real Madrid long rumoured to be his next destination? This is a side of parts that in no way resembles a team of quality, and they were brutally exposed by Newcastle.

Kesh Awefada

Kesh Awefada

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