Henry not surprised by Messi’s unhappy response to PSG substitution

Messi was replaced in the 76th minute of his home debut for his new club, which PSG won 2-1 thanks to a stoppage-time strike from substitute Mauro Icardi

Thierry Henry says he wasn’t surprised by Lionel Messi’s reaction

Thierry Henry admits he was unsurprised by the actions of Lionel Messi after his substitution during Paris Saint-Germain’s 2-1 win over Lyon.

PSG continued their 100 percent Ligue 1 record this season with a comeback victory at the Parc des Princes.

Lucas Paqueta opened the scoring for the visitors early in the second half, before Neymar levelled the scores with a controversial penalty.

The encounter looked set to end in stalemate and see Les Parisiens’ drop points for the first time in Ligue 1 this term, until Mauro Icardi headed home a 93rd minute winner for the home side.

By that point, Messi’s home debut – which had seen him handed a hero’s reception by the home support – had been brought to a premature end by Mauricio Pochettino.

Messi was not best pleased when he was taken off


NurPhoto/PA Images)

And the Argentine made clear his displeasure with his 76th minute substitution, refusing to shake hands with the ex-Spurs boss as he trudged to the bench.

There, Messi did little to hide his unhappiness.

Speaking post-game on Amazon Prime, for whom he was at the Parc des Princes working as an analyst, the former Arsenal and Barcelona star admitted he understood the reaction of his former teammate.

Asked if he had been surprised by Messi’s reaction, Henry responded: “No, not really. It does not surprise me.

“Maybe he didn’t want to go out. We don’t know what they’re saying to each other. Let’s not start the controversy. He surely wanted to stay on the pitch so he could score.

“But it will come, it will come quietly. It takes time to adapt even for the best player in the world.”

Pochettino insisted in his post-match press conference that there were no problems between he and Messi over the decision.

“I took the decision to take Leo off to protect him from possible injuries. We have important games coming up and we want to protect him.

Henry, who was working at the match as a pundit, greeted his former Barcelona teammate



“These are decisions that we make for the good of 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.

“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.

“Afterwards, Messi told me he was fine with the decision.”

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