Ligue1: Pochettino clears the air on controversial Messi substitution against Lyon

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Ligue 1 - Messi unhappy after being substituted | SportzPoint
Change of Lionel Messi of PSG during the Ligue 1 Uber Eats match between Paris Saint Germain and Lyon at Parc des Princes on September 19, 2021 in Paris, France. (Photo by Jose Breton/Pics Action/NurPhoto via Getty Images)
Lionel Messi was clearly unhappy when PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino subbed him off the pitch with 15 minutes still to play.
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Mauricio Pochettino made a controversial decision in yesterday’s Ligue1 match against Lyon. He made Lionel Messi and several of his fans unhappy with his decision. To clarify, he subbed off Messi, who was making his home debut, with 15 minutes still to play. Moreover, the score was level on 1-1 when Pochettino swapped him for Archaf Hakimi in the 75th minute. Although Icardi saved the day for PSG with a late winner, many eyebrows were raised at Pochettino’s decision.

However, the PSG coach defended his decision by saying “managers are there to make decisions”. The 34-year-old Argentine is yet to score in a PSG shirt, though he went close in the first half when his 25-yard free-kick smacked the angle of post and bar with the goalkeeper beaten.

Also Read: Lionel Messi’s PSG contract details are ‘leaked’, with £94m paid in wages and a cryptocurrency stake

When asked about why he made that decision, Pochettino said: “Everyone knows we have great players on 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.”

Although this decision by Pochettino makes one thing clear that a star-packed dressing room isn’t a problem for him. He will do what’s best for the team both in Ligue1 and the UEFA Champions League. Not everyone will be happy with the coach’s decision, but a good coach always sticks with what they think is the best for the team.

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