By John Sinnott, CNN
(CNN) — Paris Saint-Germain and Kylian Mbappé suffered a chastening defeat in the Champions League group stages, losing 4-1 at the hands of Newcastle United on Wednesday.
Newcastle were 2-0 up at half-time courtesy of goals from Miguel Almirón and Dan Burn. Newcastle extended its lead early in the second half when PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma failed to stop Sean Longstaff’s powerful angled shot.
Lucas Hernández pulled a goal back for PSG, but a superb shot from Fabian Schär restored Newcastle’s three-goal advantage.
The win put Newcastle top of Group F with four points, a point ahead of PSG. Borussia Dortmund and AC Milan shared a goalless draw in the “Group of Death’s” other game.
“It was a difficult night and I don’t think we deserved that kind of result,” PSG manager Luis Enrique told TNT Sports. “They were effective in the last part of the pitch and we made some mistakes, it is hard to accept that. If you make mistakes you pay for that.”
The defeat comes amid continued speculation of Mbappé’s unhappiness at PSG and rumors of an exit to Spanish giants Real Madrid.
Mbappé and the La Liga club have been linked year upon year, and with the 24-year-old French international reluctant to sign a contract extension in Paris, the rumor mill constantly whirls over the transfer taking place sooner or later.
Amid that swirl of speculation, PSG has made a sluggish start to the 2023-24 season under new head coach Enrique.
An influx of young talent and an exodus of its star players – namely Lionel Messi and Neymar Jr. – was theoretically supposed to give the team fresh life and Mbappé more freedom.
However, the team sits fifth in the French league table after seven games – if only two points behind leader Monaco – though Wednesday’s humbling defeat to Newcastle was further evidence that PSG remains as far as ever from its desire to win the Champions League.
Qatar Sports Investment (QSI) acquired PSG in 2011 and lavished money on bringing some of the world’s most talented players to Paris, and a Champions League title seemed inevitable.
But 12 years on and well over a billion dollars spent later, the club is no closer to achieving the success that it craves.
Mbappé had little effect on the game at St. James’ Park in Newcastle, with the Premier League side completely physically overpowering their French opposition.
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