PSG star Kylian Mbappe failed to shine during 4-1 defeat to Newcastle

CRAIG HOPE: Kylian Mbappe looked bereft of enthusiasm and ideas during PSG’s 4-1 defeat against Newcastle, as France star fails to impress at St James’ Park

  • Newcastle defeated PSG 4-1 in their Champions League clash on Wednesday 
  • Miguel Almiron, Sean Longstaff and Dan Burn helped secure the win for hosts 
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When Kylian Mbappe tried to spark himself and his team into life with an audacious attempt at a Cruyff turn on the touchline, the execution said much about their bungled evening. It was more Jordi than Johan.

The ball spun away for a throw-in and, if anything, it at least afforded Paris Saint-Germain a breather. With the ball out of play, they were momentarily comfortable. The rest of their night was anything but.

Mbappe had removed the gloves he wore here for training 24 hours earlier. But in every other sense, the gloves remained on. Not that you needed any extra layers amid an atmosphere that had built and bubbled before hitting boiling point when Geordie boy Dan Burn — formerly of Asda — headed Newcastle’s second.

Mbappe could only watch from the other end and wish that he was enjoying the same service as Burn — now there is a statement. The PSG talisman was part of a front four blessed with blistering pace — they would be good on a FIFA video game — but they were not as quick as Newcastle’s press.

So much for Mbappe exploiting a supposed lack of speed in the home defence — he needed the ball to do that, yet barely saw any of it.

PSG star Kylian Mbappe was unable to prevent his side’s 4-1 defeat to Newcastle

The France forward was deprived of the ball for most of the match thanks to the hosts’ defence

Newcastle’s players celebrate after recording the historic win at St James’ Park on Wednesday

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The France forward looked bereft of enthusiasm and ideas when, in the first half, Bruno Guimaraes robbed him of possession and spun clear with a classy pirouette.

This was what we had expected of Mbappe, but he did not show.

Newcastle’s fans did, and that could yet prove significant in years to come.

As we considered on these pages on Saturday, could Mbappe one day return in black and white? We reasoned that, down the line, maybe he could, given the shallow pool of clubs who will be able to afford him.

Newcastle, in time, will swim in those waters.

But after witnessing St James’ Park like this — the passion, colour and noise as intense as the team on the pitch — who would blame Mbappe for wanting to play his football at a venue that, as it proved here, has been a tremendous loss to the Champions League for the past two decades.

Mbappe drifted across PSG’s frontline in search of inspiration, knocking at every door. But every time, be it Burn, Jamaal Lascelles, Fabian Schar or Kieran Trippier, it was slammed in his face.

But the locals clearly enjoyed hosting Mbappe — they waited long and late for him outside the team hotel and St James’ on the eve of the game.

For them, the door will always remain open to superstar footballers — not that the current stars in black and white allowed Mbappe to look like one here.

We did not see the typical performance that we’ve come to expect from the 24-year-old


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