UEFA error costs Newcastle United! How Champions League Group F would look without PSG VAR shocker

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Wher Newcastle United, in theory, should have finished in Champions League Group F table after VAR blunder away to Paris Saint-Germain.

After exiting Europe altogether on Wednesday night following a 2-1 defeat to AC Milan at St James' Park, Newcastle United boss Eddie Howe said it would be "foolish" to reflect on the controversial penalty decision that denied his side a famous victory in Paris Saint-Germain on matchday five.

But the reality is, it has cost the Magpies as the final Champions League Group F table would look a lot different had the penalty not been awarded and converted by Kylian Mbappe in the eighth minute of stoppage time.

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To recap, Newcastle led in Paris through Alexander Isak's first-half opener and survived a PSG onslaught until a cross by Ousmane Dembele hit the chest of Tino Livramento before rebounding off the full-back's elbow.

Polish referee Szymon Marciniak checks on a screen a potential penalty during the UEFA Champions League 1st round, day 5, Group F football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Newcastle Unitec. (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images)Polish referee Szymon Marciniak checks on a screen a potential penalty during the UEFA Champions League 1st round, day 5, Group F football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Newcastle Unitec. (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images)
Polish referee Szymon Marciniak checks on a screen a potential penalty during the UEFA Champions League 1st round, day 5, Group F football match between Paris Saint-Germain (PSG) and Newcastle Unitec. (Photo by ALAIN JOCARD/AFP via Getty Images)

Referee Szymon Marciniak initially waved away the home side's handball appeals but overturned his decision at the VAR pitchside monitor. Marciniak, along with the VAR official who advised him to review the decision, Thomas Kwiatkowski, ignored advice from a UEFA board meeting in April.

It read: "In their guidelines for next season, the Board recommends that UEFA should clarify that no handball offence should be called on a player if the ball is previously deflected from his own body and, in particular, when the ball does not go toward the goal."

In a clear sign that an error had been made, all officials involved in PSG v Newcastle were dropped for matchday six - the final round of group fixtures.

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So, rather than head into their match against Milan second in Group F and in control of their own fate, Newcastle instead needed to beat the Italian giants and hoped PSG dropped points away to Dortmund.

PSG and Dortmund did indeed play out a 1-1 draw. And for 59 minutes, Newcastle were on course to qualify for the knockout stage until former Chelsea man Christian Pulisic equalised. United had gone from one foot in the Champions League to one foot in the Europa League.

In a bid to regain second spot, Howe threw bodies forward in search of a winner - a scenario that arguably wouldn't have occurred had United won in Paris - and ultimately paid the price as Milan counter-attacked and snatched a victory through Samuel Chukwueze in the 84th minute.

And that was that, out of Europe altogether. There was an air of shock at St James' Park at full-time but when the dust quickly settled, a lot of talk went back to that penalty decision.

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Without it, PSG would have finished bottom, Newcastle would be in the Europa League and AC Milan would still be in the Champions League.

1st: Borussia Dortmund - 11 points

2nd: AC Milan - 8 points

3rd: Newcastle United - 7 points

4th: Paris Saint-Germain - 7 points

Indeed, Howe himself was asked if that decision looked a little more costly now. Not that he entertained the question, mind.

"I think it would be foolish of me to look back and start bringing up old stuff," he replied. "We had the opportunity tonight to do what we had to do and we didn't take it. We couldn't have tried harder, I don't think we left anything on the pitch."

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