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Inter Miami’s 10-match unbeaten streak was snapped by Atlanta despite a Messi goal

Inter Miami brought back their star-studded line-up, including Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Sergio Busquets, for their home match against Atlanta United on Wednesday night. The excitement at Chase Stadium was palpable as fans eagerly awaited another stellar performance from their highly-ranked team.

However, the steamy and humid night seemed to sap the energy from the Miami players, resulting in a 3-1 defeat that ended their 10-game unbeaten streak.

Rough night for Miami

Despite the return of their star players, Inter Miami it looked slow from the start. Atlanta, desperate to end its own nine-game winless streak and with coach Gonzalo Pineda’s work on the line, played with urgency and took full advantage of Miami’s lethargy.

“There are no positives to take from this game,” Miami coach Tata Martino said of the game against his former team, who he coached to the 2018 MLS Cup title. “We missed a step against Atlanta. We took a step back from how we played and that was completely unexpected.»

Atlanta takes the lead

Atlanta’s Saba Lobjanidze was the standout player, scoring twice. His first goal came just before halftime after he latched on to a weak pass from Busquets, raced past the Miami defenders and fired past goalkeeper Drake Callender from outside the box. In the 59th minute, Lobjanidze struck again, found enough space and scored with ease.

Messi’s magic is not enough

Lionel Messi provided a glimmer of hope for Miami fans with a spectacular left-footed long-range goal in the 62nd minute. However, Atlanta’s Jamal Thiare widened the gap 10 minutes later with a shot from close range, effectively sealing the game. Despite Messi’s efforts, Miami’s defense looked suffocating and the team looked disjointed.

Post-match reactions

Martino expressed his disappointment with the team’s performance, noting that everything went wrong. He praised Atlanta midfielder Thiago Almada, who returned to the lineup after a calf injury, for the impressive hit.

Atlanta coach Gonzalo Pineda explained his strategy for retention Lionel Messi and Suárez. «When I understood that Messi and Suarez would be at the top, I always wanted to have three against them against them,» Pineda said. “The players did amazing for the time.

Miami defensive tackles

Miami’s defense, which had performed well in the previous three games, struggled against Atlanta. Although Martino praised centre-back Sergiy Kryvtsov for his efforts, the overall defensive performance was lacking. Goalkeeper Drake Callender was visibly frustrated as the game progressed.

Impact on ranking

Despite the loss, Miami still holds the best record in Major League Soccer through 17 games with 34 points from 10 wins, three losses and four ties. Cincinnati, which could overtake Miami in the Eastern Conference standings, also lost to Nashville and remained in second place with 33 points.

Looking ahead

Inter Miami have a busy schedule ahead of them, with Messi expected to play at least a few minutes in their next game against St. Louis. After that, Messi and possibly Suarez will join their national teams Copa Américapotentially missing several MLS matches during the tournament.

Messi’s opportunities

Messi had several early chances, including a diving header and a chip to the left post that narrowly missed. His goal in the 63rd minute was a typical Messi masterpiece as he slipped the ball between two defenders and just wide of the right post.

Inter Miami’s 3-1 loss to Atlanta United highlighted the problems in defense and overall team cohesion. While Messi’s brilliance provided a moment of excitement, it wasn’t enough to overcome a determined Atlanta team.

With key players likely to miss future matches due to international obligations, Miami will need to regroup and address these challenges to maintain its strong position in MLS.

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