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Pochettino replaced the 34-year-old – who appeared to have a knee problem – in Sunday’s 2-1 win over Lyon in Ligue 1, but Messi’s reaction suggested he was not happy with the decision .

However, after PSG confirmed that Messi had undergone a CT scan on his left knee and was awaiting a full damage assessment ahead of next week’s Champions League clash with Manchester City, Pochettino insisted he didn’t there was no problem.

He said at a press conference before Wednesday night’s trip to Metz: “In order to explain, on the sidelines, we observe all the players and everything that happens during the matches. We saw Leo Messi checking his knee and making some gestures. We saw him when he fired.

“I was happy with his performance. He did very well in the first half. I am satisfied with his commitment and his performance. There was only one goal missing.

“During his 75 minutes on the pitch – as I explained – with all the information we had, we made the decision to replace him.”

Messi’s puzzled reaction sparked some controversy, but Pochettino added: “Of course all the best players want to be on the pitch at all times, that’s understandable. I’m calm about that.

PSG, which host City next week, previously issued a statement on the former Barcelona star’s fitness.

The statement read: “Lionel Messi, who suffered a blow to the left knee against Lyon, underwent an MRI on Tuesday morning which confirmed signs of bruising in the bone. A follow-up review will be performed within 48 hours.

Additional reports by PA.


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