Mauricio Pochettino Defends Controversial Decision to Substitute Lionel Messi in Win vs Lyon

Arjun Singh Devgan
Paris Saint Germain v Olympique Lyonnais - Ligue 1 Uber Eats
Paris Saint Germain v Olympique Lyonnais - Ligue 1 Uber Eats / BSR Agency/Getty Images

Paris Saint-Germain manager, Mauricio Pochettino has defended his decision to substitute Argentina icon, Lionel Messi, especially when the club were looking for a winner during their game against Lyon - claiming that "managers are there to make decisions".

Messi who was making his home debut, was substituted by Pochettino with 15 minutes to go in the game and the club looking for the all-important winner. The 34-year-old looked frustrated when he was hauled off and appeared to say something to his fellow countryman as he made his way to the bench.

Mauro Icardi popped in to score the winner, but despite the win a lot of the focus after the game fell on Pochettino’s decision to take off Messi when his side still needed a goal to win the game.

"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," Pochettino said post 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."

The win on the night ensured that PSG are comfortably placed on top of the Ligue 1 table with 18 points from six games and look well placed to win the league title this season.