Mauricio Pochettino insisted Lionel Messi will take time to settle as Paris Saint-Germain await more information on Kylian Mbappe’s ankle injury following their 1-1 draw with Club Brugge in the Champions League.
Pochettino unleashed Messi, Neymar and Mbappe together for the first time, with the latter teeing up Ander Herrera’s fourth goal in four games in all competitions – as many as he had scored in his previous 70 PSG matches.
However, Hans Vanaken’s seventh Champions League goal for Brugge stunned the star-studded Ligue 1 outfit, who failed to recover, now having won their European opener in just one of their past four campaigns.
To make matters worse, Mbappe was forced off in the second half after a challenge by former team-mate Stanley N’Soki, and Pochettino could not reveal the extent of his injury post-match.
“Mbappe twisted his ankle, he already had problems with both ankles,” Pochettino told RMC Sport. “We will see tomorrow [Thursday] if we can have a more precise update.”
5 – Paris have fired less shots than his opponent in five of their seven games in Champions League under Mauricio Pochettino (16 shots for Club Brugge tonight, 9 for PSG). Galactic? #CLUPSG pic.twitter.com/0XC3X0R2Kt
— OptaJean (@OptaJean) September 15, 2021
Even with Mbappe stricken, PSG should have had enough to defeat Brugge, instead turning in an underwhelming attacking performance – although Messi hit the crossbar with one of three shots and also created a trio of opportunities.
“We need time to work for them [Messi, Neymar and Mbappe] to build an understanding,” Pochettino told reporters.
“That’s been clear and we’ve said that in recent days. We still have to create a team.
“We didn’t have a good evening. We have to stay calm, keep working and take the time we need. Things will get better.”
He added: “Nobody in the team can be happy with their performance and nobody can be happy with this result.”