Lionel Messi on the low after a poor performance vs Lyon
Messi is a dissonant figure:
Everyone around the world was salivated at the thought of watching Leo Messi pair up with Kylian Mbappé and Neymar when he agreed to join PSG in the summer, without ever contemplating the realities of PSG as a squad.
This is a team with a dreadful midfield that relies on the presence of Marco Verratti, who is prone to injury and suspension. And their coach, rather than harmonising a group of superstars to play well together as a group, excelled working with lesser-known players who he transformed into superstars at Spurs.
Lionel Messi’s home debut by numbers for PSG:
6 long balls attempted
6 long balls completed
3 fouls won
3 take-ons completed
2 shots on target
2 chances created
But still waiting for his first goal. pic.twitter.com/qUXy6nBZb3
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) September 19, 2021
Messi had an uneven night against Lyon in his home debut. There were flashes of brilliance, such as hitting the crossbar, completing 3/3 dribbles, and being denied a debut goal by the frantic defence. But it was all fragmented and discordant. We have yet to witness a true Messi symphony in Paris, and there is currently no indication that PSG will ever study any of his compositions.
After Neymar had “won” and scored an equalizing penalty to cancel out Lucas Paqueta’s spectacular start, the Parisians pulled off a somewhat undeserved triumph in stoppage time, with Mauro Icardi heading in a stoppage-time winner.
Messi, who was making his third appearance for the club, struck the crossbar but failed to score on his Parc des Prince’s debut, and was replaced in the 75th minute with the score tied at 1-1.
When he was substituted by full-back Achraf Hakimi, the 34-year-old former Barcelona star seemed perplexed and exchanged words with Pochettino as he went off the pitch. The two did not exchange handshakes.
“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.
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