Mauricio Pochettino explains substituting Lionel Messi at half-time in PSG win

Lionel Messi was dragged off at half-time during Paris Saint-Germain’s win over Lille on Friday night, but Mauricio Pochettino has explained that it was a precaution over an injury.

PSG were 1-0 down at the break and Messi was still looking for his first Ligue 1 goal since joining the French side when he was substituted.

Mauro Icardi replaced his compatriot at half-time and PSG went on to win the game 2-1 thanks to goals from Marquinhos and a late winner from Angel Di Maria.

However, the questions focussed on Messi after the contest and why the icon was removed at half-time.

The manager revealed an injury to the 34-year-old, and while he doesn’t think it is serious, there is no certainty at this stage.

‘We have to wait,’ said Pochettino. ‘We were with the doctors at half-time, it’s a precaution, he couldn’t continue. We hope that’s not a big deal.’

Messi has now played five Ligue 1 games without a goal, although it has not really hampered PSG as they sit 10 points clear at the top of the table.

However, it is the second time he has been taken off by Pochettino when the team was not leading, only for PSG to go on to win the match.

The former Barcelona superstar has got off the mark in the Champions League for his new club, in fact he has scored three goals in three games in Europe, it is just domestically he has struggled to make the impact that was expected of him.

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