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Pochettino defends controversial Messi to replace Lyon

The Argentine superstar looked unhappy when he was taken off the court with 15 minutes left in the game

Mauricio Pochettino attracted attention when he chose to replace Lionel Messi in the match against Lyon on Sunday. He defended himself and the Paris Saint-Germain boss said ” The manager makes the decision there.”

Messi, who was making his home debut, looked frustrated when he was sent off after failing to score in the 75th minute. When he walked to the bench, he seemed to say something to Pochettino.

The score at that stage was 1-1, but Mauro Icardi showed a winner in the last minute and scored all three points for PSG.

What did Pochettino say to Messi?

Although the victory was dramatic, much of the focus after the game was on Pochettino’s decision, when his team still needed a goal to win the game.

The 34-year-old hasn’t scored for his new club, even though he was close in the first half, when his 25-yard free kick hit the angle of the post and crossbar and the goalkeeper was beaten.

When asked why he decided to replace his compatriot, Pochettino said: “Everyone knows that our team has outstanding players.

“We have a very rich lineup with 35 players. Then we have to make a choice. 11 people have to start. Then we have to make a decision in the game.”

“Sometimes these choices pay off, sometimes they don’t. But that’s why we stand on the bench thinking about what to do. And the decisions you have to make, whether things go well or not. Whether you like it or not.”

Poch praises PSG character

If Paris Saint-Germain fails to win, Pochettino’s decision to leave Messi may face more scrutiny, but in stoppage time, Kylian Mbappé cut a tempting cross with a header from Icardi. .

Paris Saint-Germain fell behind as early as the start of the second half when Lucas Paqueta converted Karl Toko Ekambi’s mid pass, but Neymar won A controversial penalty, he converted himself to level.

This victory ensured that PSG kept a 100% start in the Ligue 1 game and put them 5 points ahead of Marseille.

It was also a perfect response to the frustrating draw against the Bruges club in the UEFA Champions League group stage opener.

“This is very positive for us,” Pochettino added. “After our difficult match against Bruges, it is important to win again.

“Lyon is a great team with great players. They played well in the first half. After we conceded, we had to show some personality.

“We must find a balance and provide strength for the team. We will continue to work hard.

“We compete every three days and we cannot train a lot. In this case, we have to watch a lot of videos to make adjustments. In particular, we have to work hard to reduce the space between the lines.”

The next game between Pochettino, Messi and Paris Saint-Germain is the Ligue 1 trip to Metz on Wednesday.

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