PSG survive group of death to reach UCL knockout stage; Milan, Newcastle out
EPL

PSG survive group of death to reach UCL knockout stage; Milan, Newcastle out

Dec 14, 2023

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Paris Saint-Germain narrowly avoided another headline-grabbing setback in the Champions League on Wednesday, doing just enough to advance to the knockout stage with a 1-1 draw at Borussia Dortmund.

Despite coming back to beat Newcastle United 2-1 at St. James’ Park, AC Milan were eliminated on goal difference.

Milan received the consolation prize of Europa League football, while Newcastle bowed out of Europe.

W-D-L GD Pts
1 Borussia Dortmund 3-2-1 3 11
2 Paris Saint-Germain 2-2-2 1 8
3 AC Milan 2-2-2 -3 8
4 Newcastle United 1-2-3 -1 5

PSG were playing not only to progress but to win the group and missed several chances early on. Dortmund’s Niklas Sule denied Kylian Mbappe with an acrobatic goal-line clearance in the 17th minute, Bradley Barcola struck the upright shortly after, and Randal Kolo Muani steered an incredible chance inches wide of the far post after barrelling down on goal.

PSG suffered an almighty scare when Karim Adeyemi gave Dortmund the lead in the 51st minute, a development cheered by the fans in Newcastle as the Magpies cradled a 1-0 lead over Milan.

Newcastle needed to win Wednesday and hope PSG didn’t, and Joelinton‘s first-half screamer had put the Premier League side on the right path. Even when Warren Zaire-Emery scored the equalizer for PSG, Newcastle were still in a position to advance.

But their hopes began to fade when Christian Pulisic tied things up on Tyneside. Milan, who hit the post twice in the second half, completed the comeback when substitute Samuel Chukwueze curled in the winner in the 84th minute. That at least bought the seven-time European champions a ticket to the second-tier Europa League, one of the only competitions they’ve never won.

Somewhat surprisingly, Dortmund finished atop the group of death despite opening with a loss to PSG and a goalless draw with Milan.

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