Lionel Messi makes his debut for Inter Miami and scores two goals and provides an assist. – Maxsports
May 13, 2024

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Lionel Messi makes his debut for Inter Miami and scores two goals and provides an assist.

Lionel Messi proved far too much for Atlanta to cope with and struck up a fruitful understanding with winger Robert Taylor

Lionel Messi scores two goals, assists another in first start for Inter Miami

Lionel Messi waves to the crowd after being substituted in his first start for Inter Miami. AP

Lionel Messi’s instant impact at Inter Miami and life in the United States continued on Tuesday as he scored two goals and created another in the team’s 4-0 victory over Atlanta United. The convincing win took Inter Mimai into the knockout rounds of the Leagues Cup.

The Argentine World Cup-winner made his first start for the MLS side after coming off the bench and grabbing a 94th-minute winner against Cruz Azul on Friday.

In his first game against a Major League Soccer club, Messi proved far too much for Atlanta to cope with and he struck up a fruitful understanding with winger Robert Taylor, who helped himself to Miami’s other two goals on the evening.

The Leagues Cup is a tournament which features top flight clubs from US and Mexico and with two wins, Miami top their group.

 

Messi put the home side ahead in the eighth minute when he was sent free by a ball over the top from former Barcelona team-mate Sergio Busquets.

Messi burst into the box and although his low shot struck the post, he made no mistake with the rebound, side-footing into the goal.

 

The seven-times Ballon d’Or winner doubled the advantage in the 22nd minute, the first of three goals that saw him combine with Taylor.

Messi ran at the Atlanta defence before switching to Taylor who slid the ball back into the path of the 36-year-old who slotted home without fuss.

Miami made it 3-0, a minute before half time break, when Messi fed Benjamin Cremaschi, who cleverly passed to Taylor who defied the tight angle with a fierce shot at goal.

Eight minutes after half time, Atlanta were caught on the break when a corner was cleared to Messi, who ran from deep in his own half before assisting Taylor who drilled in a low shot.

 

The lead margin allowed Miami’s Argentine head coach Gerardo Martino to rest Busquets and Messi with the latter taken off in the 78th minute.

Taylor deservedly received an ovation as he left the field.

“Every time Leo has the ball we have a few players running in behind and that creates loads of space for everyone else,” Taylor said.

“He can do everything on the ball. He can keep it in tight spaces, and he makes the right decision 100 percent of the time.

“Most of the time he’ll find one of his teammates. He brings so much quality to the team, so much. I mean, he’s the best player in the world. This is what he does – he scores two goals, he scored last game, gets another assist. It’s a dream come true to play with him,” he said.