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Messi available for PSG vs Manchester City, says Pochettino

Joe Prince-Wright, Nick Mendola and Andy Edwards react to the opening week of the Champions League, as three of four Premier League clubs got off to winning starts.

Lionel Messi is still searching for his first goal for PSG after being subbed off in the 76th minute (he was not happy with Mauricio Pochettino) of Sunday’s late 2-1 victory over Lyon, and it has now been revealed he has suffered an injury.

[ MORE: 10 things we learned in the Premier League - Matchweek 5 ]

Messi was hardly ineffective while he was on the field (he took four shots and put two of them on target), but the on-field chemistry between himself, Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Angel di Maria is still a work in progress.

UPDATE: Pochettino has confirmed that Messi will be in the squad for Tuesday’s Champions League clash with Manchester City, though the starting team is yet to be decided — quotes from the Guardian

“Leo is in a very good way. I think he will be in the squad tomorrow but I still haven’t decided on the starting XI. We will confirm the starting XI tomorrow.”

There has been plenty of focus on Messi in the days after his reaction and PSG have now given an update saying the Argentine superstar has a knee injury and will miss their midweek trip to Metz in Ligue 1.

“Following the blow received on his left knee, had an MRI this morning which confirms the signs of bone contusion, a new point will be performed in 48 hours,” PSG said in a statement.

Messi, 34, will also be doubtful for their home game against Montpellier this weekend, and could be in a race against the clock to be fit for the huge UEFA Champions League game against Manchester City next week.

What happened?

Mauricio Pochettino shared his reaction to Messi’s reaction, as the Argentine superstar let it be known he wasn’t happy to be subbed off.

Perhaps Pochettino was just protecting Messi, with a big few weeks coming up in the Champions League?

PSG fell behind in the 54th minute, when Lucas Paqueta streaked into the penalty area and grooved a near-post finish low and out of Gianluigi Donnarumma’s reach.

A dozen minutes later, Neymar was hacked down in the penalty area and PSG suddenly had a lifeline. The Brazilian stepped to the penalty spot and brought PSG level.

What happened?

Not long after that, Pochettino handed in his substitution card and the no. 30 flashed on the board in bright red.

The long, over-the-shoulder look says a lot about how Lionel Messi felt in that moment, but certainly not even half as much as he’d like to say.

Mbappe (4 Ligue 1 goals) and Icardi (3 of his own) have managed to carry PSG through the early part of the season, as Lionel Messi finds his way at a new club for the first time in his career. Neymar’s penalty on Sunday was also his first league goal of the season.

Mauro Icardi eventually played the part of hero, but not until the 92nd minute when it was looking like PSG would drop points in Ligue 1 for the first time this season. Mbappe floated a delightful ball into the penalty area and Icardi rose high to head it back across goal to send the Parc des Princes into raptures.

What did Mauricio Pochettino have to say?

Asked about the reaction from Lionel Messi, here is what Mauricio Pochettino had to say in his post-game reaction.

“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 said.

“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.”

Les Parisiens sitting pretty in Ligue 1

PSG sit atop the Ligue 1 table with a perfect 18 points from their first six games, five points ahead of 2nd-place Marseille, who have a game in hand.

Up next for PSG is a trip to face 20th-place Metz on Wednesday.

Follow @AndyEdMLS