Is Pochettino under huge pressure at PSG after Messi arrival?
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French football legend Thierry Henry isn’t surprised by Lionel Messi’s fiery reaction to being substituted in PSG’s 2-1 win over Lyon on Sunday. Messi refused to shake Mauricio Pochettino’s hand after being hooked on 76 minutes whilst the score was 1-1 and the game in the balance.
Lucas Paqueta fired the visitors into a second-half lead at the Parc des Princes before Neymar equalised from the penalty spot in the 66th minute.
Pochettino then replaced Messi with Achraf Hakimi as PSG shifted to three-at-the-back, much to the 34-year-old’s disgust.
The tactical shift worked, though, as Mauro Icardi netted a 93rd-minute winner to maintain PSG’s 100 per cent record at the Ligue 1 summit.
Messi is yet to score for the Parisians since joining on a free transfer from Barcelona in the summer and seems hungry to break his duck.
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After full-time, Henry stated he wasn’t surprised by Messi’s unhappiness with coming off but tipped him come good once he’s settled in France.
He told Amazon Prime: “No, not really. [Messi’s reaction] does not surprise me. Maybe he didn’t want to go off.
“We don’t know what they’re saying to each other. Let’s not start any controversy. He surely wanted to stay on the pitch so he could score.
“But it will come, it will come. It takes time to adapt even for the best player in the world.”
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Pochettino has insisted there are no problems with Messi and claimed he hooked his Argentine compatriot to maintain his fitness.
“I took the decision to take Leo off to protect him from possible injuries. We have important games coming up, and we want to protect him,” Pochettino explained.
“These are decisions that we make for the good of 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.
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“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.
“Afterwards, Messi told me he was fine with the decision.”
Messi will hope to open his PSG account against rock-bottom Ligue 1 outfit Metz on Wednesday night.
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