- Thierry Henry not surprised by reaction to replacement for Lionel Messi
- Messi was shocked after Mauricio Pochettino took him down against Lyon
- Henry believes Messi will excel at Paris Saint-Germain but needs time to adapt
Thierry Henry has admitted he was not surprised by Lionel Messi’s reaction to being replaced during Paris Saint-Germain’s win against Lyon.
With the sides level at 1–1, Messi, who was making his home debut, was dropped by manager Mauricio Pochettino, replaced by Achraf Hakimi.
PSG won the game 2–1 but after the match the main thing was the reaction to Messi’s return, with the Argentine star staring sharply at Pochettino and refusing to shake hands with his compatriot. Messi also pointed with his hands indicating that he did not understand the decision.
Thierry Henry says he is not surprised Lionel Messi was disappointed after being replaced
Messi briefly spoke to Mauricio Pochettino but didn’t stop on his way to the bench
Henry confident Messi will be able to excel for PSG, but says he needs time to adapt
While working as a pundit at Amazon Prime, Henry was asked if he was surprised by Messi’s response.
He said: ‘No, not really. It doesn’t surprise me.
‘Maybe he didn’t want to go out. We don’t know what they are saying to each other. Let’s not start a dispute. He definitely wanted to stay on the pitch so that he could score.
Summer signing to applause but no standing ovation by PSG fans
Messi made a limited impact against Lyon and has yet to score in his three appearances for PSG since his departure from Barcelona.
However, Henry, who played with Messi at the Catalan club from 2007 to 2010, is confident that his former teammate will soon be able to make a big impact for PSG.
Henry said: ‘But it will come, it will come quietly. It takes time to get used to even the best player in the world.
PSG supporters applauded after Messi was dropped, but did not give a standing ovation.
Pochettino explained after the game that ‘we must make decisions for the good of the team’
Pochettino explained his decision after the game.
He said: ‘Everyone knows we have great players in the team, we have 35 players. But we must take decisions for the betterment of the team. Sometimes they give positive results and sometimes not.
‘These are decisions we need to take. Sometimes it pleases people, or not. I asked him how he was, and he said he was fine.’
Lyon took the lead in the 54th minute with the help of Lucas Paqueta but a penalty by Neymar in the 66th minute pulled PSG levels down.
After Messi’s departure, PSG made a very late winner as Mauro Icardi found the net in the third minute of stoppage time.
Messi will hope for a better experience when PSG return to Metz on Wednesday.