Geordies Dan Burn and Sean Longstaff both scored to help Newcastle put Paris St Germain to the sword as Champions League football returned to Tyneside with a bang.
More than two decades since the Magpies last played in the competition, they rekindled memories of their first ever outing, a 3-2 victory over Barcelona in 1997, by thumping the French champions 4-1 in front of a crowd of 52,009 at a delirious St James’ Park.
Miguel Almiron set the ball rolling with the club’s first Champions League goal since Alan Shearer’s double at Inter Milan in March 2003, but it was local boys Burn and Longstaff who put the Group F fixture beyond Luis Enrique’s side before Fabian Schar smashed home a superb fourth to secure three points to go with the one with which they had returned from AC Milan a fortnight earlier.
The game kicked off amid a cacophony and the volume only rose as the industry of Alexander Isak and Anthony Gordon caused problems for keeper Gianluigi Donnarumma and defender Marquinhos early on.
However, it was the visitors who went agonisingly close to taking the lead with just five minutes gone when 17-year-old midfielder Warren Zaire-Emery broke from his own half and fed Mbappe, whose cross was volleyed inches wide by Ousmane Dembele with Nick Pope helpless.
Achraf Hakimi was relieved to see Almiron fire over from distance after intercepting his loose pass seconds later, but Newcastle went ahead with 17 minutes gone after the Frenchmen once again shot themselves in the foot.
PSG responded in determined fashion and Goncalo Ramos saw his effort deflected out for a corner seconds after Schar had whipped a first-time shot inches wide of Donnarumma’s left post from Kieran Trippier’s intelligent corner.
Isak was left bloodied after a clash of heads with Hernandez, but was able to carry on after having the wound bandaged and a change of shirt, and his side’s fortunes took a significant turn for the better six minutes before the break.
The Paris defence failed to deal with Trippier’s free-kick and Donnarumma clawed the ball out of his top corner and then saved at his near post as shots rained in, but although the keeper also managed to get a hand to Burn’s header after he climbed high to meet the excellent Guimaraes’ cross, the ball was adjudged to have crossed the line after a lengthy VAR review.
They grabbed a lifeline with 56 minutes gone when Hernandez timed his run to perfection to glance Zaire-Emery’s lofted ball beyond Pope and instantly looked a more dangerous proposition with Mbappe, Dembele and substitutes Bradley Barcola and Vitinha injecting much-needed vigour.
But all too often, they lacked the precision to hurt their hosts and when they did create meaningful openings, as they did when Dembele span and fired towards goal with 13 minutes remaining, they found Pope in indomitable form.
Mbappe blasted impotently wide with five minutes remaining to the delight of the home crowd, who were on their feet once again in stoppage time after Schar had thumped a shot high past Donnarumma and into the top corner.