PARIS: Paris Saint-Germain manager Mauricio Pochettino defended his decision to remove Lionel Messi on the former Barcelona star’s debut at home.
Messi excelled in the first half of Ligue 1 action against Lyon at the Parc des Princes but began to decline after the break and was replaced by Achraf Hakimi during the 1-1 draw.
PSG won 2-1 thanks to a header from substitute Mauro Icardi in injury time.
“Everyone knows we have great players, a 35-man squad. It’s my decision.
“We can only put 11 players on the field at a time.
“I just think of the best results in every game, for every player, just like other coaches do.
“We’re here to make a decision. Some will be happy with the decision, some won’t,” Pochettino said.
Messi was seen refusing to shake hands with Pochettino when the operator was removed.
Messi almost scored his first goal for PSG in the first half but his free -kick hit the post.