Lionel Messi was substituted on in the home debut when Paris Saint-Germain scored the late winner – Sports News Update

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Lionel Messi gestures towards Mauricio Pochettino after being substituted.

(CNN) Lionel Messi’s home debut for Paris Saint-Germain was anything but what he could have dreamed of. The Argentine striker was replaced by Mauricio Pochettino in the second half as his side were looking for a winner against Lyon.

Lucas Paqueta had given the visiting team the lead after 54 minutes before Neymar equalized with a penalty a good 10 minutes later.
The main talking point of the game, however, came when Pochettino decided to replace Messi with right-back Achraf Hakimi, with 15 minutes left of the game, apparently to the chagrin of the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Pochettino and Messi didn’t shake hands and the pair had a brief exchange when Messi hit the bench.

PSG won the Ligue 1 game thanks to a Mauro Icardi header from a Kylian Mbappé cross in stoppage time and Pochettino defended his decision to replace Messi.

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“I think we all know we have great players in this 35-man squad,” Pochettino told reporters. “Only 11 can play, we can no longer play. The decisions in the game are made for the good of the team and each player.

“Every coach thinks about it. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes the players like it and sometimes they don’t. That’s why we’re here at the end of the day.”
“Those are decisions the coach has to make. As for his reaction, I asked him how he was doing, he said he was okay. That was it. That was our exchange.”

Messi looked lively at times during the game – he hit the wood with a free kick and brought out a smart save for Anthony Lopes – but PSG’s marquee signing still looked far from the player fans they are used to at Barcelona had.

Messi, Neymar and Mbappé’s fearsome threesomes will undoubtedly take more time to develop, but Sunday’s game gave some insight into the threat they could become.

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