Dominant PSG and Porto Reach UEFA Champions League Round of 16, Newcastle United’s Journey Ends

Paris Saint-Germain and Porto secured berths in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday, while Newcastle bid farewell to European competition following a 2-1 defeat at home against AC Milan. PSG managed a 1-1 draw away to Group F leaders Borussia Dortmund, securing their spot as runners-up as Milan staged a comeback to eliminate Newcastle at St James’ Park.

Newcastle, aiming to win and rely on PSG dropping points to extend their first Champions League campaign in two decades, took the lead with an impressive Joelinton goal in the first half. However, Christian Pulisic leveled the score in the 60th minute, and substitute Samuel Chukwueze sealed the victory for Milan with an 84th-minute goal. Despite the loss, it wasn’t sufficient for Milan to surpass PSG.

“We gave everything to the match. I can’t ask for anything more in terms of commitment, effort, physical exertion. Unfortunately for us, it wasn’t to be,” expressed Eddie Howe. The French champions, facing the prospect of their first group stage exit since the Qatari takeover in 2011, fell behind when Karim Adeyemi scored early in the second half in Germany.

Warren Zaire-Emery rescued PSG five minutes later after Kylian Mbappe’s effort into the box, leading to a powerful shot from the teenager. Although Mbappe had a goal ruled out for offside, PSG secured the necessary point to advance, tying with Milan in points but progressing due to a superior head-to-head goal difference.

“We’re far from the finished article,” remarked PSG captain Marquinhos. “We’re going to have to prepare well and prepare better because bigger opponents are on the way.”

– Porto Completes Lineup for Knockouts –
Porto secured a place in the last 16, defeating Shakhtar Donetsk 5-3 and advancing from Group H alongside Barcelona. A Galeno goal put Porto ahead early, and despite Danylo Sikan equalizing for Shakhtar, Galeno, Mehdi Taremi, and Pepe secured the 3-1 lead for Porto. Although an own goal gave Shakhtar a chance, Francisco Conceicao sealed the win, with Eguinaldo scoring a late consolation for the Ukrainians.

“In Porto, we never play for a draw, even though that result also suited us. The manager said this match would be like a final and we had to win. Mission accomplished,” stated Galeno.

Royal Antwerp pulled off a remarkable 3-2 win over Barcelona, with George Ilenikhena scoring a stoppage-time winner. Manchester City won all six Champions League group stage games with a 3-2 victory at Red Star Belgrade. In other matches, RB Leipzig won 2-1 against Switzerland’s Young Boys, and Atletico claimed first place in Group E with a 2-0 victory over Lazio.

Celtic ended a 15-game winless streak in the group stage with Gustaf Lagerbielke’s late header earning them a 2-1 victory over Feyenoord. Luis Palma’s first-half penalty gave Celtic the lead, but Yankuba Minteh leveled for Feyenoord with eight minutes left.

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