Mauricio Pochettino failed his audition for the Manchester United post on Wednesday night as PSG were outscored by Manchester City at the Etihad.
The Premier League champions produced a superb response after falling behind on a Kylian Mbappe goal against the run of play early in the second half.
Raheem Sterling equalized just past the hour and substitute Gabriel Jesus appeared to claim a winner with 14 minutes remaining who also confirmed City as Group A winners.
Nonetheless, it turned out to be a shy offensive display from PSG in a game where the score may not have reflected City’s dominance.
Aside from an assist for Mbappe’s goal, Messi was largely anonymous, while Neymar also had a day to forget.
Mbappe was the best of the three, but the fact that Pochettino couldn’t make the most of his electric frontline during his tenure as manager will undoubtedly raise question marks for the Old Trafford hierarchy.
With Cristiano Ronaldo, Paul Pogba and Bruno Fernandes in the United ranks, the Argentine will have a similar task in controlling the big egos of his potential suitors.
And former Chelsea ace Jason Cundy admitted he thought the performance of the top three was unusual for talking SPORT at the sports bar and hitting Neymar in particular for his poor defensive performance.
“It was strange tonight, this front three,” he said.
“You can’t win a major cup competition with this performance.
“I’ve had this conversation with people for the last five or six years about Neymar – overdone! he added.
“I’ve always said it. Give me Sterling or Bernardo Silva on one of these [front three].
“I’m a Mbappe fan, but give them to me rather than Neymar.
“He doesn’t work hard enough. If things go well you’ll see the tips and tricks, but tonight, facing some top notch opposition, you really see the player he really is and he’s overrated.
Even before the loss, Samir Nasri questioned Pochettino’s tactics so far during his short stint at PSG, insisting he struggled to make the most of his first three.
“With the PSG, he understands, he still has not found the right formula, he does not know in which system to really play… I do not understand why he has not started to line up a three-way defense, for example. .
“There are a lot of things I see that are a bit inconsistent. And it’s a little too easy to say that it’s not his project, to clear oneself in the event of failure.
Only time will tell if Pochettino has indeed handed the reins to United.
But one thing is for sure, PSG’s poor performance at Man City raised more questions than answers for the Argentine.