LONDON: Newcastle welcomed themselves back into the Champions League after 20 years with a 4-1 despatch of Paris Saint-Germain on a party night at St James’ Park.

Newcastle went into the tie in eighth place in the Premier League and having kept five consecutive clean sheets. They were without their key central defender, Sven Botman, because of a knee injury.

Manager Eddie Howe made one change from the side who beat Burnley 2-0 on Saturday. Italian midfielder Sandro Tonali replaced Elliot Anderson after passing a late fitness test but Joelinton and Callum Wilson were important injury absences.

Not that it mattered in the end.

Newcastle made a nervous start and enjoyed an early escape. Mbappe burst clear and crossed to the far post only for Ousmane Dembele to volley wide.

PSG paid a penalty for that miss in the 17th minute when Newcastle took the lead.

Captain Marquinhos gave away the ball, trying to play out in his own penalty box, and Alex Isak pounced. Gigi Donnarumma saved well from the Swede but Miguel Almiron followed up to score. This was Almiron’s third goal in four appearances in all competitions and made him the first Newcastle player to score in the Champions League group stage since Alan Shearer.

Newcastle extended their lead amid confusion through Dan Burn. Donnarumma saved well from Bruno Guimaraes whose cross from the rebound was headed in by Burn. The keeper clawed the ball back from behind the line and initially the goal was disallowed for offside against Guimaraes. After a two-minute delay the goal was confirmed by VAR.

PSG had been outplayed tactically in the first half and switched to 4-3-3 after the break but in vain as they conceded a third goal in the 51st minute.

Kieran Trippier provided the assist, midfielder Sean Longstaff the shot and Donnarumma the mistake in diverting the ball into the net with his right hand as he dived.

Lucas Hernandez kept PSG’s foot in the game by scoring his first goal since his move from Bayern Munich before Fabian Schär wrapped up the party with a fourth goal at the start of stoppage time.