Pochettino reveals reasons behind Messi half-time withdrawal

The Argentina striker was a surprise absentee in the second half as his domestic struggles continue

PSG boss Mauricio Pochettino says Lionel Messi was substituted “as a precaution” after the striker was withdrawn at half-time of Friday’s match with Lille.

Eyebrows were raised when Pochettino opted to replace the Argentine superstar with Mauro Icardi at the break with PSG trailing 1-0, meaning Messi has yet to hit the target in Ligue 1 for his new club.

PSG managed to turn the game around in the second half but only just, with Marquinhos levelling on 77 minutes before Angel di Maria hit the winner with two minutes left.