PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino has defended his decision to substitute forward Lionel Messi in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Olympique Lyonnais in the French Ligue 1 and said the Argentine was okay with being taken off.
Messi, making his third appearance for the side, hit the woodwork but failed to score on his Parc des Princes debut and was substituted in the 75th minute with the score at 1-1.
The 34-year-old former Barcelona player looked puzzled when he was replaced with full-back Achraf Hakimi and exchanged words with Pochettino as he walked off the pitch. The pair didn’t shake hands.
“I think we all know we have great players in this 35-man squad. Only 11 can play, we can’t play more. The decisions in the game are made for the good of the team and each player,” Pochettino told reporters.
“Every coach thinks about that. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t. Sometimes players like it and sometimes they don’t. At the end of the day, that’s why we’re here.
“These are decisions that have to be made by the coach. As for his reaction, I asked him how he was, he said he was okay. That was it. That was our exchange.”
A stoppage-time goal by Mauro Icardi earned PSG a victory as the leaders maintained their perfect record with 18 points.
La Liga: Real produce stunning comeback
Vinicius Jr and Karim Benzema scored within the space of three minutes deep in the second half to propel Real Madrid to a 2-1 win at Valencia in La Liga on Sunday after the visitors were outplayed for most of the game.
Valencia went ahead in the 66th minute with a thumping low strike from forward Hugo Duro, who spent last season on loan with Madrid.
Real levelled with a deflected strike from Vinicius in the 86th and then the Brazilian turned provider, crossing for Benzema to head home the winner in the 88th.
Valencia would have gone top had they held on for the win but instead Carlo Ancelotti’s Real side lead the standings on 13 points from five games, with the hosts third on 10.
Bundesliga: Haaland scores another two in Dortmund win
In the Bundesliga, Erling Haaland scored twice as Borussia Dortmund beat Union Berlin 4-2 at Signal Iduna Park.
Defender Raphael Guerreiro had the hosts an early lead, which Haaland doubled with a bullet header in the 24th minute.
Marvin Friedrich’s own goal further extended the lead at the start of the second half before Max Kruse pulled one back for Berlin from the penalty spot.
Union substitute Andreas Voglsammer set up a tense last 10 minutes, but Haaland lobbed in a well-taken second to settle any nerves as Dortmund moved to within a point of leaders Bayern Munich.
Haaland now has 16 goals for club and country this season, including seven in the Bundesliga.
Serie A: Juve held by Milan, Jose’s Roma lose
Juventus’ search for a first Serie A win went on after being held to a 1-1 draw at home by AC Milan.
Alvaro Morata gave the visitors an early lead, with Ante Rebic heading in an equaliser with 14 minutes left.
Juve are 18th, while Milan moved level on 10 points with leaders Inter.
Jose Mourinho’s Roma suffered a first league defeat as they were beaten 3-2 at Hellas Verona.
Lorenzo Pellegrini put the visitors in front, but goals from Antonin Barak and Gianluca Caprari turned things around early in the second half.
An own goal from Ivan Ilic levelled things up just before the hour, only for captain Marco Davide Faraoni to secure all three points when his volley crashed in off the bar.