The VAR official involved in the decision to award Paris St Germain a controversial last-gasp penalty to salvage a Champions League draw against Newcastle has been stood down from duty on Wednesday night.

The PA news agency understands Thomas Kwiatkowski will no longer be among the officials selected to oversee the Real Sociedad v Red Bull Salzburg match at the Anoeta Stadium.

Newcastle were within a few minutes of stoppage time of a famous victory at the Parc des Princes when a questionable handball decision against Tino Livramento handed Kylian Mbappe the chance to snatch a point, and it was one he took with some aplomb.

Asked if he felt a sense of injustice, Magpies boss Eddie Howe replied: “Yes, I do. It wasn’t the right decision in my opinion.

“There are so many things to take into account at that moment, the speed first. It was a ricochet that when it is slowed down, looks completely different to the live event.

“The ball hits his chest first, comes up and hits his hand. But his hand is not in an unnatural position, they (his hands) are down by his side, but he is in a running motion.

“I feel it is a poor decision and it’s hugely frustrating for us as you know how little time there is left in the game. There is nothing we can do about it now.”

Kieran Trippier cannot understand why the penalty which denied Newcastle a famous Champions League victory at Paris St Germain was given.

The 33-year-old England international was incredulous when Polish referee Szymon Marcimiak pointed to the spot after being asked to review an incident in which Timo Livramento blocked Ousmane Dembele’s cross deep into stoppage time and saw the ball ricochet off his chest onto the underside of his arm.

Kylian Mbappe scored from the spot with just seconds remaining to cancel out Alexander Isak’s first-half opener and snatch two priceless points from the Magpies’ grasp.

Trippier said: “It is disappointing, but we have to move on. I just try to enjoy football, but I am tired of discussing these matters, whether good or bad.

“Nothing can change it. The referee had the chance to go to the monitor, which he did, so I don’t understand it. From my point of view, it has come off his chest and onto his arm.

“I don’t understand what his decision was, even after the game. We tried to ask him. But we just have to move on and take it on the chin.”

Livramento, who turned in a fine individual display, was understandably distraught at the outcome, but his team-mates swiftly rallied around him.

“Tino is fine,” Trippier said of the 21-year-old. “He is a strong kid who had an unbelievable game again.

“It is one of those where everybody knows it wasn’t a penalty. Of course it is disappointing because it was him in that moment. We said, ‘Listen it wasn’t a penalty, so get it out of your head’.”

Newcastle travelled to Paris once again without a host of key players through injury, but produced their best away performance of the competition to date.

In the cold light of day, a point represents a creditable return no matter the context, and they will host AC Milan at St James’ Park on December 13 knowing a win would take them through to the last 16 provided PSG do not beat Borussia Dortmund – who have already qualified – in Germany the same night.

“There are so many positives still to take,” Trippier said. “We didn’t make one sub so it was 11 v 16. The lads have given absolutely everything.

“We all just have to keep stepping up and giving everything for the team.”

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe will head into the Champions League showdown with AC Milan desperate to continue a journey which has captivated him.

Howe, who turned 46 on Wednesday, did so still ruminating on the controversial 1-1 draw at Paris St Germain on Tuesday evening, which left the Magpies needing to beat the Serie A giants at St James’ Park on December 13 and hope the French champions do not win at Borussia Dortmund if they are to emerge from Group F.

Newcastle had come within a few minutes of stoppage-time of a famous victory at the Parc des Princes when a questionable handball decision against Tino Livramento handed Kylian Mbappe the chance to snatch a point, and it was one he took with some aplomb.

However, asked afterwards how much he had enjoyed the competition to date and how keen he was to extend that adventure, Howe said: “I’ve loved every second of it and I’m desperate to stay in it.

“We have been thrown in at the deep end against high-class opposition, some great stadiums and brilliant atmospheres and we are desperate to stay in the competition, and to show a better version of ourselves. We’d love the opportunity to do it.”

Should the Magpies beat Milan, they would have eight points and that would mean PSG, who already have seven, would have to win in Germany against the already-qualified Bundesliga side as the Premier League club would have the better of the head-to-head if they finished level.

Howe was angry with the penalty decision, which he described as “poor”, but his sense of injustice masked a belief that there could be another twist to come.

He said: “I think we have to look that we’re still in the competition. The first thing to do is look at that because it could have been different tonight, so that game now is going to take on huge significance for lots of different reasons.

“We’re back at home and we’re excited about the game when it comes around, so they’re huge positives for us. That’s why I don’t think we should lose sight of that despite the disappointing ending.”

The Magpies travelled to Paris with a raft of key players still injured and so little experience on the bench that the team which started also finished, some of them clearly running on fumes.

However, Howe was proud of the resilience they showed as PSG piled on the pressure, with goalkeeper Nick Pope making a series of fine saves while the men in front of him defended for dear life until fate intervened.

Their manager, who now faces the task of lifting the team for Saturday’s league clash with Manchester United at St James’, paid tribute to the spirit within the camp, which was exemplified in the face of a French onslaught.

He said: “We’ve shown that despite the huge number of players – quality players – not being here, the group has stepped up and given more.

“We’ve shown that the spirit and togetherness and the willingness to fight for each other is as good as I’ve ever seen it at any football club since I’ve been involved in the game, and we’re very proud to represent Newcastle, as I’ve said many times before, but especially on the European stage.

“Hopefully we can give them a reason for everyone to be proud of us back in Newcastle.”

Eddie Howe was left fuming after Paris St Germain denied Newcastle a priceless Champions League victory with a controversial stoppage-time penalty.

The Magpies were heading for a famous 1-0 win at the Parc des Princes until Polish referee Szymon Marciniak awarded a spot-kick against Tino Livramento after a VAR review, allowing Kylian Mbappe to level in the eighth and final minute of added time.

Howe, who said in a television interview that the official had been placed under “extreme” pressure by the PSG players, labelled a decision which cost his side two precious points “poor” in his post-match press conference.

Asked if he felt a sense of injustice, the Newcastle boss said: “Yes, I do. It wasn’t the right decision in my opinion.

“There are so many things to take into account at that moment, the speed first. It was a ricochet that when it is slowed down, looks completely different to the live event.

“The ball hits his chest first, comes up and hits his hand. But his hand is not in an unnatural position, they [his hands] are down by his side, but he is in a running motion.

“I feel it is a poor decision and it’s hugely frustrating for us as you know how little time there is left in the game. There is nothing we can do about it now.”

The pivotal moment arrived in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Ousmane Dembele attempted to deliver the ball across the Newcastle penalty area and saw it hit Livramento’s side and rear up on to the underside of his arm.

Mr Marciniak, who had earlier seen decisions not to award spot-kicks for an Anthony Gordon challenge on Achraf Hakimi and a shout for handball against teenager midfielder Lewis Miley upheld, was advised to review the incident and this time decided to award the penalty.

The Magpies, who had taken a 24th-minute lead through Alexander Isak, defended it for grim life until the last-gasp controversy, although they needed Pope to be at his brilliant best on several occasions.

They now need to beat AC Milan at home on December 13 and hope PSG do not win away to Borussia Dortmund to progress.

Asked if that was something to cling on to, Howe, who celebrates his 46th birthday on Wednesday, said: “Yes, I think that’s absolutely right. In the next couple of days, that will become more relevant in our thoughts, I think.

 

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“When the draw came out, it was the ‘group of death’ and I don’t think many people gave us a chance of qualifying from it and sitting here now, I’m a little bit frustrated that it’s not in our hands because when I look back at the two Dortmund games, I felt we could have done better in those matches.

“I don’t think it’s the time for that, I think it’s probably a time to be positive and to say that if we can beat Milan, then good things can happen from it.”

For PSG boss Luis Enrique, there was a mixture of relief and frustration on a night when his side created a host of chances but were unable to take any of them until Mbappe’s late intervention.

Enrique said: “Without a doubt, we played a very great game. We deserved to win. We played better than Newcastle. The result does not reflect what happened on the pitch.

“It’s not basketball. We are one of the teams in Europe that scores the most. Sometimes the ball doesn’t want to go in.

“Sometimes the game looked like table tennis. I couldn’t believe we couldn’t score, but we carried on despite the frustration.”

Former Newcastle skipper Alan Shearer has blasted the decision which handed Paris St German a Champions League get out of jail card against his home town club “disgusting” and “s***”.

Shearer, the Magpies’ record goalscorer, voiced his frustration on social media after Polish referee Szymon Marciniak was asked to review his decision not to award a penalty when Ousmane Dembele’s cross hit Tino Livramento in the ribs and then hit the underside of his arm. The referee belatedly pointed to the spot.

Kylian Mbappe, who had been denied repeatedly by goalkeeper Nick Pope and his defenders, made no mistake from 12 yards in the eighth minute of stoppage time at the Parc des Princes to secure a 1-1 draw.

An unimpressed Shearer wrote on his X – formerly Twitter – account: “Do me a f****** favour man. What a load of s***t.

“A superb battling away performance from every single player. Shouldn’t be spoilt by a disgusting decision. Well done @NUFC.”

Shearer’s former Newcastle team-mate Shay Given was equally unhappy with the decision, which brought back memories of the night in Paris that Thierry Henry’s handball which went unnoticed and cost the Republic of Ireland a place at the 2010 World Cup finals.

Given posted on X: “What a performance from the Toon. Terrible decision to give a penalty, not the first time I’ve left Paris with a controversial handball decision.”

Former Newcastle and England striker Michael Owen also criticised the penalty decision and the way the handball rule is being interpreted.

Owen wrote: “Heartbreaking for @NUFC. Such a good performance. Never in a million years is that a penalty.

“We are further away from applying consistency to the handball rule than we’ve ever been.”

TNT Sports pundit Ally McCoist branded Mr Marciniak’s decision “a disgrace”.

McCoist said: “It comes off his chest, then hits his left elbow. If that’s a penalty, we might as well forget about it.

“If we’re giving penalty kicks for that, it’s a disgrace. The whole night will be remembered by that decision.”

Colleague Jermaine Jenas, who spent more than three years of his playing career at St James’ Park, added: “It is a shocking decision – not in any walk of life is that a penalty. What is meant to do with his arms – wrap them around his back?

“I am fuming.”

Newcastle boss Eddie Howe was left fuming after Paris St Germain denied Newcastle a priceless Champions League victory with a controversial stoppage-time penalty.

The Magpies looked to be heading for a famous 1-0 win at the Parc des Princes as they battled their way through a second-half onslaught from the hosts until Polish referee Szymon Marciniak awarded a spot-kick against Tino Livramento after a VAR review, allowing Kylian Mbappe to level in the eighth and final minute of added time.

Howe, who said in a television interview that the official had been placed under “extreme” pressure by the PSG players, labelled a decision which cost his side two precious points “poor” in his post-match press conference.

Asked if he felt a sense of injustice, he said: “Yes, I do. It wasn’t the right decision in my opinion.

“There are so many things to take into account at that moment, the speed first. It was a ricochet that when it is slowed down, looks completely different to the live event.

“The ball hits his chest first, comes up and hits his hand. But his hand is not in an unnatural position, they [his hands] are down by his side, but he is in a running motion.

“I feel it is a poor decision and it’s hugely frustrating for us as you know how little time there is left in the game. There is nothing we can do about it now.”

The pivotal moment arrived in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Ousmane Dembele attempted to deliver the ball across the Newcastle penalty area and saw it hit Livramento’s side and rear up on to the underside of his arm.

Mr Marciniak, who had earlier seen decisions not to award spot-kicks for an Anthony Gordon challenge on Achraf Hakimi and a shout for handball against teenager midfielder Lewis Miley upheld, was advised to review the incident and this time decided to award the penalty.

The Magpies, who had taken a 24th-minute lead through Alexander Isak, defended it for grim life until the last-gasp controversy, although they needed Pope to be at his brilliant best on several occasions.

They now need to beat AC Milan at home on December 13 and hope PSG do not win away to Borussia Dortmund to progress.

Asked if that was something to cling on to, Howe, who celebrates his 46th birthday on Wednesday, said: “Yes, I think that’s absolutely right. In the next couple of days, that will become more relevant in our thoughts, I think.

 

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“When the draw came out, it was the ‘group of death’ and I don’t think many people gave us a chance of qualifying from it and sitting here now, I’m a little bit frustrated that it’s not in our hands because when I look back at the two Dortmund games, I felt we could have done better in those matches.

“I don’t think it’s the time for that, I think it’s probably a time to be positive and to say that if we can beat Milan, then good things can happen from it.”

For PSG boss Luis Enrique, there was a mixture of relief and frustration on a night when his side created a host of chances but were unable to take any of them until Mbappe’s late intervention.

Enrique said: “Without a doubt, we played a very great game. We deserved to win. We played better than Newcastle. The result does not reflect what happened on the pitch.

“It’s not basketball. We are one of the teams in Europe that scores the most. Sometimes the ball doesn’t want to go in.

“Sometimes the game looked like table tennis. I couldn’t believe we couldn’t score, but we carried on despite the frustration.”

Nick Pope has told Newcastle they have to believe they can win every game if they are to be thought of as a top team.

The Magpies head into Tuesday night’s crunch Champions League clash with Paris St Germain knowing their first campaign in two decades could be over if they lose.

Memories of October’s 4-1 demolition of the French champions at St James’ Park, which took Eddie Howe’s men to the top of Group F after two rounds of fixtures, have faded after back-to-back defeats by Borussia Dortmund left them at the foot of the table.

 

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However, asked what they need at the Parc des Princes, Pope said: “A win would be nice. That’s not going to do any harm in any group at any stage.

“It obviously keeps it in our hands as well, which is something that would be nice going into the Milan at home game. But the full focus has got to be on tomorrow night and taking it one game at a time.

“Every game we go into, we’ve got to look to win, whether that’s League Cup, Champions League, league.

“I believe we’re a top team and top team behaviours and top team attitudes, that’s what it is. Whoever the opponent may be, however good they are, we have to have the belief and the attitude that we want to win the game.”

Newcastle managed to keep PSG superstar Kylian Mbappe and his team-mates quiet on Tyneside, but the France international has been in lethal form since, scoring 14 goals in his last 11 games for club and country.

Another clean sheet in Paris would do Pope’s chances of winning back a place in the England set-up no harm and, although he insists he has no problem with manager Gareth Southgate’s decision to leave him out of recent squads, he knows what he needs to do to stand a chance of returning.

He said: “You can always do more. There’s more clean sheets to be had, more saves, better performances. I’ve got to look inwardly at that. Gareth’s decision to leave me out, I’ve got to make it that he can’t leave me out.”

Pope may not be the only Magpie whose form Southgate is monitoring, with Anthony Gordon staking his claim for an elevation from the under-21 ranks with a series of high-octane performances amid a crippling injury crisis.

Howe was without 13 senior players for Saturday’s 4-1 league win over Chelsea, in which the former Everton man scored the final goal, and will have to play a key role in the French capital if his side is to prosper.

The Magpies head coach, who may have to include 17-year-old midfielder Lewis Miley in his starting line-up once again after a hugely impressive display against the Blues, knows just how high the stakes are, but is not cowed by the pressure.

Howe, who put his players through their paces at the Parc des Princes on Monday evening having trained back in Newcastle for the previous two away games, said: “It’s difficult to predict football matches and what the results may be and the permutations of others’ games. We try not to lose energy doing that.

“From our side, we prepare to try to win this game, that’s all we can do and then worry about Milan afterwards.

“We’re certainly not in a strong position, we’re not in the position that we wanted to be, but we are where we are and we have to just focus on this game, and I think it’s imperative we don’t lose.”

Howe confirmed midfielder Joe Willock is to see a specialist on Tuesday over his Achilles injury.

Luis Enrique has warned Paris St Germain to prepare for a Newcastle onslaught as the sides go head-to-head in Champions League Group F on Tuesday night.

Enrique put the finishing touches to his plan to gain revenge for his side’s 4-1 defeat at St James’ Park in October at a rain-soaked Poissy on Monday morning having paid keen attention to the Magpies’ Premier League demolition of Chelsea.

Eddie Howe’s men were missing 13 senior players on Saturday but still surged to a 4-1 win with a display which impressed the PSG boss.

Enrique said: “If you saw the last match against Chelsea, physically it’s really incredible. Six players are putting on so much pressure, they can pressurise eight players at the same time.

“This intensity in their game and this pressure is something that we need to be prepared for.”

The reigning Ligue 1 champions were soundly beaten on Tyneside as goals from Miguel Almiron, Dan Burn, Sean Longstaff and Fabian Schar threw the group wide open.

However, Enrique’s men go into their penultimate fixture knowing a win could see them through to the knockout stage and while he is understandably wary of Newcastle, that is his focus.

He said: “The competition could be really short, it is a very complicated group and the ranking is really close, as you see.

“It’s true that now every game is decisive, it’s knockout style. Two teams could be qualified already tomorrow night depending on the results, so until the last day, we don’t know.

“I’m sure that my team is ready, though, ready to play, to be competitive on the pitch and that’s what we’ve been proving throughout the entire season.”

PSG have lost only once in all competitions since their horror show at St James’ – at AC Milan in their last European outing – and trounced Monaco 5-2 on Friday evening.

However, Portuguese midfielder Vitinha admits there is a score to settle against the English club.

Vitinha said: “We spoke after that match. We knew it was not a great result for us, of course. That was a very tough game and we know it’s another tough game tomorrow night awaiting us, but we still want to win.

“Maybe we have that little revenge feeling, but that stays inside us. Tomorrow is going to be a show and that we win, that’s the most important thing.

“We know it’s possible to qualify as fast as tomorrow, but we’re just trying to focus on this match and only on this match because the only way for us to qualify is to win, so that is what we are trying to focus on.

“We have to respect what the coach is asking of us and try to do everything to win this match and have a good standing in this group.”

Paris St Germain moved four points clear at the top of Ligue 1 after a display of ruthless finishing secured an entertaining 5-2 win over Monaco at the Parc des Princes.

Kylian Mbappe, who netted his 14th goal of the season from the penalty spot, was one of five different goalscorers for the home side, who have now won six games in a row in the league.

Monaco began the game just three points behind PSG and contributed fully to an end-to-end contest, but the visitors ultimately had no answer to the firepower at Luis Enrique’s disposal.

Goncalo Ramos had the first effort on target after six minutes with a curling shot from just outside the area which was straight at goalkeeper Philipp Kohn, while at the other end Takumi Minamino’s shot was deflected into the side netting.

Mbappe then brought an excellent save out of Kohn as he tried to steer a low shot into the corner from 12 yards, before Soungoutou Magassa’s free header from a corner was tipped over by Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The visitors thought they had opened the scoring in the 14th minute when Folarin Balogun’s shot was spilled by Donnarumma, who at least made amends by reacting quickly to block the follow-up effort from Vanderson.

Vanderson made no mistake at the second attempt, rounding Donnarumma before rolling the ball into the empty net, only for the flag to go up due to Balogun being offside when he received the ball from Aleksandr Golovin.

An entertaining game soon got the goal it deserved when Ousmane Dembele’s shot was spilled by Kohn to leave Ramos with a simple tap-in.

But just four minutes later another goalkeeping error allowed Monaco to equalise, Donnarumma coming under pressure from Balogun and hitting his attempted clearance straight to Minamino, who fired home left-footed.

Kohn again saved well from Mbappe before the home side reclaimed the lead in the 38th minute, Magassa bringing down Dembele in the area and Mbappe giving Kohn no chance from the penalty spot.

Minamino brought good saves from Donnarumma immediately before and after the interval but it was PSG who scored next – and twice in quick succession – to seemingly put the result beyond doubt.

Dembele raced on to a quickly-taken free-kick from Fabian Ruiz, cleverly flicked the ball forward with his left foot and then smashed a shot into the far corner with his right from a narrow angle.

Less than two minutes later it was 4-1 as Vitinha took Mbappe’s pass and curled a delightful shot from the edge of the area in off the post, but Monaco refused to throw in the towel and Balogun slotted home from Minamino’s pass for a third goal in the space of five minutes.

Monaco continued to push forward and Denis Zakaria was guilty of a poor miss when presented with a clear header from Golovin’s corner, but Randal Kolo Muani completed the scoring for PSG in injury time after Monaco failed to clear a corner.

Luis Enrique is confident his Paris St Germain squad have the depth needed to cope without injured captain Marquinhos and France starlet Warren Zaire-Emery as they prepare to face Ligue 1 rivals Monaco.

Brazil defender Marquinhos picked up a hamstring problem during the World Cup qualifier defeat against Argentina, which PSG expect to see him sidelined for at least 10 days and so will also miss next week’s Champions League match against Newcastle.

The Ligue 1 leaders were already facing up to 17-year-old midfielder Zaire-Emery missing for the rest of 2023 with an ankle injury suffered while he scored on his senior France debut against Gibraltar.

Enrique, though, feels there is enough cover to see his side produce the required performance when they host third-placed Monaco on Friday night.

“We have a squad that is the best of the (Ligue 1) championship, in my view. The only thing that every time a player gets hurt, it’s sad, because they won’t be able to play,” Enrique said.

“However, the number of players is very broad and is at a very high level.”

Enrique told a press conference: “We are used to it (injuries), but we have to make sure that the players get back.

“We take stock of what happened to the players, and we advise according to each one to have the best possible recovery.”

Monaco sits just three points behind PSG and Enrique warned against complacency as his side look to maintain their seven-match unbeaten domestic run.

Enrique said: “Monaco is a team I really like. They don’t waste time calculating, they don’t ponder about the result, they press hard.

“They always play at a good level and are the team that has created the most chances behind us.”

The PSG boss added: “It is an important match because they are a direct rival, but there is lots of time left to go in the league and there are many games to be played.

“It is not decisive, but we want to play to a better level than our opponent and have more chances,

“It is going to be a difficult match – but I have never seen an easy match in Ligue 1.”

Monaco boss Adi Hutter is expecting an open encounter at the Parc des Princes.

“We are not going to change our style of play, even if it is PSG, the leader and favourite for the title,” he told a press conference.

“They are very dangerous because they have already scored 29 goals, compared to 25 for us, which is not so bad.

“They are on five consecutive victories, so it will certainly be an open match for both sides.”

Monaco look set to welcome back Brazilian right-back Vanderson for the first time since late September.

Former Southampton defender Mohammed Salisu is also stepping up his recovery following groin surgery, but is not expected to feature against PSG.

What the papers say

Arsenal’s attentions are again turning to Douglas Luiz, 25, as Mikel Arteta looks to strengthen his midfield options. The Daily Mirror reports Arsenal are expected to make a fresh bid for the Brazilian in January.

Brazilian Marcos Leonardo is expected to spark interest after his agent said he is keen on leaving Santos in January. The Evening Standard reports Arsenal and Manchester United are among the potential suitors for the 20=year-old forward.

Kylian Mbappe believes “there will be time to talk” about his future at Paris St-Germain, according to the Daily Mail, via Telefoot. The France forward, 24, has been the subject of increased speculation as his contract enters its final few months.

Jadon Sancho’s path out of Manchester United could be helped by Sir Jim Ratcliffe’s imminent investment in the club. The Daily Mirror reports the England winger, 23, is a target of Juventus whose former chief executive Jean-Claude Blanc now works for the Ineos boss and is tipped for a similar role at Old Trafford.

Social media round-upPlayers to watch

Raphael Varane: Bayern Munich are interested in a January move for the Manchester United defender, 30, according to the Daily Mirror via Sky Sport Germany.

Joao Neves: Benfica have no plans to sell the Portuguese midfielder, 19, despite interest from Manchester United, reports Fabrizio Romano.

France forward Kylian Mbappe is backing Paris St Germain midfielder Warren Zaire-Emery to become a future international star ahead of the visit of Gibraltar in Saturday’s Euro 2024 qualifier.

France are heavy favourites to make it seven wins from seven when they face Gibraltar at the Allianz Riviera and have all-but qualified for Euro 2024, while only conceding one goal so far in the qualifying phase.

Zaire-Emery, 17, is set to make his international debut after an impressive start to the Ligue 1 campaign, where he has scored two goals and claimed two assists in 11 appearances so far.

Mbappe, who made his debut in 2017 at the age of 18, has tipped his club team-mate to go far.

He told a press conference, as quoted on getfootballnewsfrance.com: “He is fascinating. He is already very mature and he plays with a lot of personality.

“He is a modern midfielder, who isn’t scared of going forward with the ball. What we have to do is accompany him. I don’t have any advice to give him because he is learning very quickly and on his own.

“Seventeen years old, it’s the same age as my brother (Ethan Mbappe), it’s mad. I’m not old, but it makes me feel a bit old! The guy arrives and does his homework.”

Mbappe was heavily linked with a move away from PSG in the summer but has enjoyed a bright start to the season with 15 goals to his name across all competitions so far.

The 24-year old insists he plays in different roles compared to club and country and demands the best of himself every game.

He continued: “I’m a player who’s very demanding of himself, so when I find that demand from my coaches then I’m very happy.

“I don’t need my manager to tell me I’m the best player in the world every day.

“(France head coach Didier) Deschamps is all about adapting to opponents, which means I’m a different player. That allows me to broaden my range. I can still improve and broaden my range.

“Here, the coach gives me total freedom on the left flank. (PSG boss) Luis Enrique gives me more structure. I’m adapting to all these schemes and with the two great coaches I have, it’s in my interest to listen to them.”

Kylian Mbappe scored a hat-trick as Paris St Germain won 3-0 at Reims for a fifth straight Ligue 1 victory to move top of the table.

Luis Enrique’s side produced the required response from the midweek Champions League defeat by AC Milan to keep the pressure on Nice, who were held to a goalless draw at Montpellier on Friday night.

However, despite taking an early lead, PSG had to overcome some testing spells at Stade Auguste-Delaune before Mbappe settled matters late on.

Mbappe had given the visitors a perfect start by opening the scoring after just three minutes with a superb finish.

Ousmane Dembele swung the ball in from the right and Mbappe dispatched a fine volley back into the bottom corner from the left side of the penalty area.

Reims, though, were soon on the offensive themselves and had an equaliser ruled out.

Mohamed Daramy sent Junya Ito away down the left channel and the Japan international slotted a composed finish past Gianluigi Donnarumma.

The home side’s celebrations, though, were shortlived as the goal was swiftly ruled out for offside.

Ito was soon involved again as he put Marshall Munetsi in down the right side of the PSG penalty area but he slashed his shot wide.

A low free-kick from the Japan forward looked to be creeping in at the near post but Donnarumma got down to make a smart reaction save.

Azor Matusiwa then fired wide after latching on to a stray pass out from Donnarumma before Emmanuel Agbadou’s effort sailed just over.

Amir Richardson was denied by another fine stop from the PSG keeper at point-blank range just before the break.

Cheered on by a vocal home support, Reims threatened again early in the second half when Agbadou’s header from a corner was pushed away by Donnarumma.

PSG, though, made their hosts pay for spurning numerous chances to get themselves level when Mbappe doubled the lead just before the hour.

 

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Carlos Soler got away down the right and cut the ball back for the Frenchman to slot in his second.

With 10 minutes left, Mbappe completed his hat-trick, sweeping home a cut-back from substitute Bradley Barcola.

It was almost four for the French World Cup winner, who continues to be linked with a move to Real Madrid, when he rattled the crossbar from close range late on.

AC Milan ended their goal drought to keep their Champions League hopes alive after a comeback win over Paris St Germain.

Rafael Leao and Olivier Giroud scored their first European goals of the season to secure a 2-1 victory at San Siro.

Milan Skriniar’s header had given the visitors the lead but PSG are now just a point ahead of third-placed Milan in Group F.

Newcastle’s 2-0 defeat at leaders Borussia Dortmund earlier on Tuesday gave the hosts, who started the night bottom, a glimmer of hope.

They are only two points adrift of Dortmund with the group still wide open after four games.

Milan, who reached the semi-finals last season, came into the game with one win in their last six in all competitions and it looked like it was going to be another long night after nine minutes.

Former Inter Milan defender Skriniar was the villain when he drifted off Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s shoulder to head in from four yards after Marquinhos had glanced a corner across goal.

Yet two minutes later the hosts were level following a fine piece of improvisation from Leao.

The Portugal international streaked through midfield to feed Giroud, who was denied by a smart save from Gianluigi Donnarumma. The ball looped in the air and Leao adjusted himself to hook an overhead kick in from six yards.

Achraf Hakimi dragged wide as a quick tempo continued but Milan grew in confidence, even if Ousmane Dembele struck the crossbar for PSG after 27 minutes.

Fikayo Tomori’s free-kick had former Milan keeper Donnarumma, who was forced to remove fake bank notes from his area after the home fans threw them onto the pitch in protest at his departure in 2021, scrambling and Leao dragged wide with nine minutes to go before the break.

Mike Maignan dealt with tame efforts from Dembele and Vitinha in first-half stoppage time and, five minutes after the restart, Milan grabbed the winner.

Leao and Hakimi went down after challenging each other at the far post and the PSG defence went to sleep expecting a whistle.

By the time Theo Hernandez swung in a cross they were struggling to regroup and Giroud powered in a six-yard header.

Donnarumma’s fingertip save turned Hernandez’s free kick wide soon after but PSG, with Kylian Mbappe well shackled, rallied late and could have grabbed a point with two minutes left.

Substitute Kang-In Lee cut in from the right but his low strike hit the outside of the post.

Under-fire AC Milan manager Stefano Pioli has accepted responsibility for his team’s faltering form as the Rossoneri seek to revive their Champions League campaign against Paris St Germain.

Milan go in to the San Siro clash winless in four games and desperate to recover from the shock 1-0 Serie A home defeat to lowly Udinese.

Boos from disgruntled fans greeted the final whistle on Saturday with the setback coming after losing to Juventus and drawing with Napoli in the league, as well as being beaten 3-0 by PSG at the Parc des Princes two weeks ago.

“In times and situations such as these talk is cheap. It’s all about walking the walk,” Pioli said at his pre-match press conference for Tuesday’s PSG return.

“The club is really doing everything in its power to make sure I can work in the best possible conditions to provide a competitive team.

“If we have produced under-par displays recently then that’s on me, but I will focus on working hard and do everything to best prepare for the match.

“We disappointed our fans and ourselves on Saturday, that’s fairly clear. If they booed us it means we were pretty poor and we’re aware of that.

“But we have the opportunity to put things right and start playing like Milan again.”

Milan have not scored in three Champions League games this term and are bottom of Group F with two points at the halfway stage.

PSG top the section with six points, with Borussia Dortmund and Newcastle – who meet in Germany on Tuesday – both on four.

Pioli said: “We can no longer hope for other results to be positive for us. We need to start getting points ourselves.

“We need to stay very focused and switched on in both phases of the game, as PSG can hit you at any moment because of the pace and quality of their forwards.

“They are also a team that can allow you some space and we need to be more clinical when some of those situations arise, as they did in the first game.”

Former Milan goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma returns to the San Siro for the first time since leaving for PSG in the summer of 2021.

Milan’s current number one Mike Maignan, the former PSG academy goalkeeper and France international, said: “We know he didn’t leave the club on good terms and our supporters are very passionate.

“I think it’s going to be a pretty tricky reception for Donnarumma, but he’s a world-class goalkeeper and he’s had a good start to the season.”

PSG have won five successive games since losing 4-1 in the Champions League to Newcastle on October 4, scoring three times on each occasion.

France forward Ousmane Dembele said: “It’s a great feeling. We’re getting to know each other better and better after playing three to four months together now.

“We’ve received a lot of instructions and tactical work from the coach (Luis Enrique), and we try to apply it in matches.

“We’ve prepared well for the big match in the Champions League.”

Christian Pulisic, Samuel Chukwueze and Theo Hernandez are all available after injury for Milan, while Marco Asensio again misses out for PSG.

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