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Mauro Icardi's Late PSG Winner Provokes Muted Reaction From Lionel Messi

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Mauro Icardi's Late PSG Winner Provokes Muted Reaction From Lionel Messi

PSG narrowly saw off title rivals Lyon on Sunday evening thanks to a late goal by Mauro Icardi. However, among the celebrating PSG bench, one man's reaction was rather muted - that of Lionel Messi.

The former Barcelona star, who joined PSG this summer on a free transfer, had been substituted earlier in the game, following an underwhelming display.

An all-star front line of Kylian Mbappe, Angel Di Maria, Neymar and Messi failed to click as expected, with Lyon taking the lead through Lucas Paqueta at the Parc des Princes.

The away side's lead didn't last long, as 12 minutes later Neymar won - and converted - a penalty to level the scoreline.

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With 15 minutes remaining PSG manager Mauricio Pochettino shocked everyone watching by substituting Messi, with Achraf Hakimi being brought on as his replacement.

It was a change that got the whole football world talking, as it was one of the greatest players of all time being taken off just when PSG needed to try and find a winning goal.

The Argentine looked less than pleased to be dragged off at such a crucial point, with videos posted to Twitter highlighting the fact that Messi and his new manager didn't shake hands when he came off the pitch.

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A more curious reaction was to follow, however, when Icardi fired home in added time to extend the Parisian's unbeaten start to the Ligue 1 season.

As the rest of the PSG bench erupted in celebration, Lionel Messi appeared to remain seated initially, before standing and clapping in a very muted manner.

Unsurprisingly, fans took to social media to analyse the 34-year-old's reaction, with many using it as evidence of his apathy towards his new club.

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One Twitter user replied, "This isn't his home and he knows it".

After the match, Pochettino stood by his decision to bring Messi off.

"Everyone knows we have great players on the team," Pochettino explained per Goal.

"We have a very rich squad of 35 players. Then we have to make choices. With the 11 who must start. And then we have to make decisions during the game.

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"Sometimes these choices pay off and sometimes they don't. But that's why we're standing in front of the bench thinking about what to do."

Tom Fenton
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