Pochettino defends Messi substitution after handshake snub
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Pochettino defends Messi substitution after handshake snub

After being substituted during Paris Saint-Ligue Germain's 1 match against Lyon, Lionel Messi could not hide his displeasure.

After appearing as a substitute against Reims before the international break and then playing the full 90 minutes in the disappointing midweek Champions League draw with Club Brugge, the Argentine superstar - a high-profile summer arrival following that shock exit from Barcelona - made his first League start for PSG at the Parc des Princes on Sunday night.

Despite hitting the woodwork from a free-kick, Messi failed to score for his new club and was substituted 14 minutes from time by compatriot Mauricio Pochettino, who brought in Moroccan winger Achraf Hakimi.

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Mauro Icardi and Georginio Wijnaldum were also introduced later by Pochettino, with the former's introduction paying off handsomely as he scored a thrilling stoppage-time winner in Paris after Neymar's penalty had initially canceled out Lucas Paqueta's opening.

Messi was extremely upset over being sent off on his home debut, and he looked to turn down Pochettino's offer of a handshake as he hobbled straight to the bench.

Defending his decision to replace the Argentine, Pochettino said: "Everyone knows we have great players in the squad, we have 35 players. But we must make decisions for the good of the team. Sometimes they lead to a positive result and sometimes not.

“These are decisions we need to take. Sometimes it pleases people, or it doesn't. I asked him how he was, and he said he was fine."

Star-studded PSG's late win over Lyon means they've now won all six of their Ligue 1 games this season, putting them five points ahead of Marseille, who have a game in hand.

Messi will have another chance to score his first goal in French football on Wednesday night when Pochettino's side hosts Montpellier before facing Manchester City in the Champions League.

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