The pitch with 15 minutes was still to play so the Argentine superstar looked far from happy. On Sunday the Paris Saint-Germain boss said: “managers are there to make decisions”. Mauricio Pochettino has defended himself after raising eyebrows as he chose to substitute Lionel Messi during his side’s clash with Lyon.
Having failed to score, Messi who was making his home debut, looked frustrated so he hauled off after 75 minutes. He appeared to a something to Pochettino as h made his way to the bench. Mauro Lcardi popped up with the last-minute winner to earn PSG all three points. The game was level 1-1 at that stage.
Pochettino said about Messi
The nature of the history was really very dramatic and despite this nature of the victory, a lot of focus after the game fell on Pochettino’s decision to take off Messi when his side still needed a goal to win the game. Though he went close in the first half when his 25-yard free-kick successfully smacked the angle of post and bar with the goalkeeper which could be beaten. The 34 years old has yet to score for his new club.
When asked why he decided to substitute his compatriot, Pchettino said: “Everyone knows we have great players no the team”. “We have a very rich squad of 35 players. Then we have to make choices. With the 11 who must start. And then we have to make decisions during the game.”
“Sometimes these choices pay off and sometimes they don’t. But that’s why we’re standing in front of the bench thinking about what to do. And those decisions that you have to make, whether things go well or not. Whether you like it or not.”
Poch praised PSG
Pochettino’s decision to take off Messi had obviously and most likely have faced more scrutiny had PSG failed to win. Deep into stoppage time, Kylian Mbappe chipped an inviting cross that was headed home by Icardi. PSG has earlier had failed behind at the start of the second half when Lucas Paqueta converted Karl Toko Ekambi’s centering pass. But Neymar won a controversial penalty which he converted himself to haul them level.
This win will also ensure PSG to maintain their 100 percent start to the Ligue 1 campaign and moves the five points clear of Marseille at the top of the table. It can also be seen as a perfect response to a frustrating draw against Club Brugge in their Champions League group stage opener.
“It’s very positive for us,” added Pochettino. “After our difficult game against Brugge, winning again was important. “Lyon are a great team, with great players and they played well in the first half. After the goal we conceded, we had to show some character. “We have to find the balance to provide strength to the team. We continue to work on it.
“We play every three days, we can’t train a lot. And in this case, we have to look at a lot of videos to make adjustments. In particular, we must work to reduce the spaces between the lines. “