Inter Miami Steals The Show With 3-1 Win Over LAFC In Tinseltown

Photo: IMCF

BMO Stadium- Inter Miami CF put on an Oscar-worthy performance Sunday night as they handled the defending Champions LAFC 3-1. Miami’s leading man Lionel Messi, served up two assists while providing numerous highlights, Facundo Farias, Jordi Alba, and Leonardo Campana tallied a goal each in the resounding victory.

Kick Off

Inter Miami put out an intriguing lineup against LAFC, with usual starters Josef Martinez and Dixon Arroyo relegated to the bench. Coach Tata Martino opted for a 5-3-2 formation and inserted Facundo Farias to pair with Lionel Messi, with Diego Gomez and Benjamin Cremaschi in the midfield flanking Sergio Busquets.

The reigning champions came out with a flurry with two clear scoring opportunities, but Super Drake Callender was up to the task. Callender blocked a breakaway attempt by Denis Bouanga that would have given LAFC the early lead.

Just a few minutes after Drake’s save Inter Miami took the lead on a Facundo Farias goal. Tomas Aviles put a wonderful through ball and Farias timed a sliding kick that rolled into the corner of the LAFC net for the 1-0 lead. LA had the momentum but Miami was effective.

With the goal, Miami played more confidently and dictated possession but LAFC continued to have some dangerous counterattacks that they could not convert. The teams went into halftime with Miami ahead 1-0.

Second Half

Barely into the second period, Miami doubled its lead on a Jordi Alba goal. Busquets connected with Messi, who put in a perfect slicing pass for Alba who finished it with class. Inter led 2-0 and the LA crowd began to worry.

It was “Hasta la vista, baby” when Lionel Messi gifted Leonardo Campana an assist on Miami’s third goal of the night.

LAFC would score a goal in the 90th minute, but it was too little too late for the final 3-1 score. Ryan Hollingshead skied over the Miami defenders on a corner kick cross to hammer the ball in. It’s been a recurring issue with Miami, allowing set-piece goals too frequently. Tata and the squad have to figure out a way to clean that particular issue up.

On a night when the stars came out to watch Lionel Messi perform, the brightest and biggest star of all did not disappoint. Inter Miami and Lionel Messi put on a wonderful performance, putting the league on notice that they are going for that playoff spot, and if they get in no team is safe, no matter how high they are seeded.


Tata Martino was asked about his unconventional pairing of Facundo Farias and Lionel Messi in the Miami attack when he had Josef Martinez and Leonardo Campana at his disposition,

Today we understood that it was better to play Lio with Facundo in order to prevent the LA center-backs from referencing a particular player

Martino took a big gamble starting Farias over a more experienced Josef Martinez and over Leonardo Campana who seems ready for greater playing time. The gamble paid off big time, with Farias scoring a goal and providing the speed and mobility that Miami has lacked. Tata showed that he is willing to adapt and has great confidence in his young players.

Tata was also asked about the players the team added during the summer transfer window,

With the players that have arrived in the last 60 days the roster is much more complete, there’re greater possibilities to select players, greater possibilities to prepare for the games

It is undeniable that the six players that were brought in during the summer transfer window have made all the difference for the team, with Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, and Jordi Alba in particular leading the surge. Facundo Farias, Diego Gomez, and Tomas Aviles have done their part too, giving Tata Martino quality options to choose from.

Final Thoughts

Inter Miami CF is the hottest team in MLS, the biggest name in whatever city they find themselves. Miami outshined LAFC in Tinseltown! The Messi Effect is in full effect, Miami and Lionel are making MLS a global brand with the world watching Messi’s every move. The sheer brilliance of bringing him to America cannot be understated.

Drake Callender is a big part of Miami’s current success, his timely saves have made it possible for the Herons to pull out some tough games, just like  Sunday night’s match versus LAFC. If Bouanga had scored his breakaway goal 10- minutes into the match, the game could have had a different outcome. Callender has grown into a core player for Miami, with the likes of Messi, Busquets, and Alba.

Diego Gomez, Facundo Farias, and Tomas Aviles have shown why they are held in such high regard as future stars. Each one has played well and will continue to improve with more game experience. It looks like Miami hit three out of three with these guys.

A statement win by Miami over LAFC puts Inter as one of the better teams in MLS. If Miami gets into the playoffs they could be playing for  “The Treble”. Miami only needs to defeat FC Cincinnati in the US Open Cup to have their second trophy in team history. If it were to happen it would be one of the greatest sports stories in American sports history. I would love to be able to write about that!

Lionel Messi and friends have turned Inter Miami’s ship around in record time, and Tata Martino gets a lot of credit too. Yet one person rarely gets mentioned, Chris Henderson. Baby Godfather has managed to maneuver under sanctions to form a super team in Miami. His heroics could be legendary if Miami wins a treble this season. Now just imagine what he’ll be able to do next season when the shackles come off.

This season is one to cherish, one for the history books for Inter Miami CF. The miraculous turnaround to the season, the GOAT of football playing at DRV PNK Stadium, the Leagues Cup Trophy, 11 games without a loss, the possibility for a treble, the list goes on. Enjoy these special moments, they are rare.

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