Messi assists Miami to big win over MLS champions LAFC
September 4, 2023 09:54 AM
Inter Miami delivered the most impressive win of their Lionel Messi era, 3-1 at Major League Soccer champions Los Angeles FC on Sunday, with two assists from the Argentine boosting their playoff hopes.
Goals from Argentine forward Facundo Farias, Spanish full-back Jordi Alba and substitute Leonardo Campana of Ecuador earned Miami a statement victory that moves them within nine points of the playoff places with nine games remaining.
The home crowd, swelled by celebrities including Leonardo DiCaprio, Selena Gomez and Prince Harry, were left frustrated as last year's MLS Cup winners wasted a series of chances.
After surviving some early scares, Miami took the lead in the 14th minute when Tomas Aviles split the LAFC defence to find Farias who beat John McCarthy with a low shot.
French-born Gabon international Denis Bouanga failed to convert several clear chances for LA and they were made to pay in the 51st minute when Miami's former Barcelona trio combined in style.
Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets fed Messi who picked out the overlapping Alba and he burst into the box to score with a cool, left-footed finish.
Miami were in firm control and wrapped up the win in the 83rd minute when Messi burst from midfield and slipped the ball outside to Campana who made no mistake with a curling finish.
LA got a 90th-minute consolation via Ryan Hollingshead'a glancing header from a corner.