Lionel Messi was unceremoniously hauled off by Mauricio Pochettino on his Parc des Princes debut for Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday night, before an injury-time Mauro Icardi strike earned the home side a 2-1 victory over Lyon.
Messi had a limited impact in his third appearance for PSG, hitting the woodwork but failing to score for the third match in a row, before he was substituted for Achraf Hakimi in the 76th minute with the score at 1-1.
As he came off, the summer arrival from Barcelona stared sharply at PSG manager Pochettino and appeared to snub a handshake from his fellow Argentine.
Lionel Messi could not hide his disappointment after he was substituted in the 76th minute
Messi briefly said something to Mauricio Pochettino but did not stop on his way to the bench
The summer signing was given a round of applause, but not a standing ovation by PSG fans
Messi also made a gesture with his hands apart as if to say he didn’t understand, and Pochettino attempted an explanation afterwards.
‘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,’ Pochettino said through a translator.
‘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.’
The former Tottenham boss was vindicated when Icardi, who came on in the 82nd-minute for Angel Di Maria, headed home from Kylian Mbappe’s cross four minutes into stoppage time to win it for the hosts.
Mauricio Pochettino was vindicated as substitute Mauro Icardi hit winner in stoppage-time
Icardi headed home from Kylian Mbappe’s cross four minutes into stoppage time
Neymar had levelled with a penalty following Lucas Paqueta’s second-half opener as leaders PSG maintained their perfect record with 18 points.
Six-time Ballon d’Or winner Messi, who is still chasing his first PSG goal after his third appearance following his shock move from Barcelona, sat glum-faced on the bench after being substituted.
PSG fell behind in the 53rd minute when Brazil midfielder Paqueta finished neatly, after forward Karl Toko Ekambi picked him out with a low cross to the front post.
Neymar equalised from the penalty spot in the 66th after he was fouled by 18-year-old right back Malo Gusto.
Neymar levelled with a controversial penalty in the 66th minute on Saturday night
The Brazilian waited for Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes to move before slotting home
Messi was the game’s best player in the first half and almost scored in the 32nd minute. He found Neymar down the left and sprinted to meet his clever reverse pass, but goalkeeper Anthony Lopes read Messi’s low shot well and denied him with his legs.
Four minutes later, Lopes was stuck to the spot as Messi hit the crossbar with a free kick from outside the box.
Messi, whose last Champions League goal for Barca was away to PSG in last season’s round of 16 return leg, also hit the bar in Wednesday’s 1-1 draw at Club Bruges.
PSG are five points ahead of bitter rivals Marseille, having played one game more.
Messi hit the woodwork with a free kick but failed to score on his third appearance for the club
Messi was also denied his first goal by the outstretched leg of the Lyon goalkeeper
Lucas Paqueta swept a shot past PSG goalkeeper Gianluigi Donnarumma at his near post