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Controversial penalty denies Newcastle victory against PSG in Champions League clash

Posted : 29 November 2023

In a Champions League clash that left football enthusiasts on the edge of their seats, Newcastle United experienced a rollercoaster of emotions at Paris St-Germain, ultimately ending in a 1-1 draw. The Magpies, led by Eddie Howe, showcased resilience and determination, with Aleksander Isak's first-half goal threatening to deliver a stunning upset against the reigning French champions in Group F.


As the game unfolded, missed opportunities and remarkable saves from Nick Pope fueled the excitement among visiting fans, fostering hope for a historic double over PSG. However, controversy struck in the eighth minute of stoppage time. Ousmane Dembele's cross seemingly made contact with Tino Livramento's body, resulting in an unexpected handball decision after a VAR review. Kylian Mbappe capitalized on the penalty, leveling the score and denying Newcastle a well-deserved victory.


The referee, Szymon Marciniak, known for officiating high-profile matches, including the 2022 World Cup final, faced scrutiny for his handling of the Livramento incident. Former Newcastle striker Alan Shearer expressed his dismay, emphasizing the outstanding performance of the entire team and condemning the decision as "disgusting."


The controversy also shed light on the intricacies of handball rules in different competitions. While the Premier League allows for certain mitigations, UEFA competitions adhere to distinct guidelines. The disagreement in penalty percentages for handball incidents across European leagues added fuel to the ongoing debate about standardization in officiating.


Despite the setback, Newcastle now faces a crucial challenge in their final group game against AC Milan. The draw against PSG means they must secure a victory and hope for a favorable result for Borussia Dortmund to progress to the last 16. The footballing world eagerly awaits the resolution of this gripping saga in Group F.


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