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Lionel Messi had a fiery baptism with Inter Miami in MLS 2024: he gave an assist and was only missing a goal

2024-02-22T03:51:19.835Z

Highlights: Lionel Messi had a fiery baptism with Inter Miami in MLS 2024: he gave an assist and was only missing a goal. Messi played 60 minutes at a high and very active level, different from what he showed on the preseason tour. There is a team. Gerardo Martino's hand is seen for the first time since this cycle began. It is far from being that anarchic group that it was at times in 2023. The defense looked much more solid with former Racing Tomás Avilés as a mainstay.


The first chapter of the second season in the United States for La Pulga began with a solid 2-0 over Real Salt Lake. He played 60 minutes at a high and very active level, different from what he showed on the preseason tour.


Lionel Messi's second season in Major League Soccer (MLS) has begun

.

And the first episode delivered interesting but incomplete signs at Fort Lauderdale's Chase Stadium, Inter Miami

's cute temporary home

until Freedom Park is built.

It was 2-0.

The difference should have been much, much bigger.

But it could also have been a draw because

Real Salt Lake , led by

Pablo Mastroeni

from Mendoza

, could not squeeze out some childish mistakes in the second half, when the home team started erratically and faded away until Diego Gómez's reassuring goal arrived.

But that, for now, is a secondary issue.

Because the first thing to note is that Lionel Messi started 2024 very plugged in.

He saw it at 220 - although here we have to say 110 because otherwise everything will burn.

He had 60 minutes of the best Messi.

And a couple of flashes when the clock was running out, among them the play that sealed history on

a court with American customs that perceives itself as Argentine

.

And that's a lot.

But the most important thing is that there is a team.

Gerardo Martino's hand

is seen for the first time since this cycle began

.

It is far from being a collection of individualities that is close to retirement.

It is far from being that anarchic group that it was at times in 2023. Very far away.

The defense looked much more solid with former Racing

Tomás Avilés

as a mainstay.

Note that he also had to deal at times with the distractions of DeAndre Yedlin and the slowness of the Ukrainian Sergey Krivtsov.

But a much more compact formation is seen.

And that means that

Drake Callender

, the goalkeeper, has much less work - he had a great save on a header from Brayan Vera.

Photo: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images/AFP

The midfield worked better

.

Especially in the initial 45.

Nothing is discovered when

Sergio Busquets

is praised .

The Catalan, who is the footballer who played with Messi as a teammate the most times with 571 shared games, is everything that is good.

He starts as a central midfielder in front of a line of three, but he always places himself in the right place.

Sometimes he dresses as a libero, other times he takes over for the full-backs.

However, the best thing is that the ball is delivered round.

Busquets was strengthened thanks to

Julian Gressel

.

He is a player with a lot of dynamics and better judgment than the 30-year-old German, an old acquaintance of Tata Martino from the Atlanta United days.

He is intelligent and utilitarian, also the blonde who comes from being a champion with the Columbus Crew.

He goes back, passes well and was the one who set the pressure times, at times very high, that allowed Inter Miami to transform a soccer game into a monologue.

Paraguayan

Diego Gómez

is also good , although sometimes imprecise.

He ended up being key with the conquest of the end.

And Robert Taylor

also got an approval

, who had the pleasure of scoring the first goal of the season 38 minutes into the opening half.

Photo: Megan Briggs / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

The restless Finn received

assistance from Messi

, in the first direct attack, without too much touching, and finished crosswise to beat Zac Mac Math's unconvincing shot.

The curious thing is that by that time Inter Miami had squandered countless chances.

A free kick from Messi that Glad took on the line

.

An attempt - another one - at an Olympic goal that was blocked by the goalkeeper.

There were also football daddy associations with

Luis Suárez

that ran out of gas in the final meters.

The Scaloneta captain did everything well in that initial part.

He looked like Messi in full competition and not one in the opening match after a long vacation.

If you don't have to see how he dodged

Eneka Eneli

, who was on the floor, hitting the ball above his body in a technical gesture that drove everyone crazy.

The opposite image was given by the Uruguayan Pistolero, who was received with honors by the owners but seemed to be far from his best.

There is time ahead, of course.

Big-time header from Justen Glad to deny Messi's free kick.

👀



📺 #MLSSeasonPass: https://t.co/D7skJOK7bn pic.twitter.com/3DD1xf6t2z

— Major League Soccer (@MLS) February 22, 2024

The second half was not so good.

Errors at the start were combined with Messi being a little more intermittent after an hour of the best version of him.

He was enough to draw a slalom inside the large area to leave Gressel alone, who missed the final shot.

Also to lead the attack for Gómez's goal - Suárez assisted in the middle, who came out at the end.

And also in which he would have put the finishing touch on the night with a run to the right, a hitch and a finish that MacMath covered with an arm.

Inter Miami can dream.

Messi is on

.

The team starts to appear.

You just need the good to last longer.

Logical in a seasonal baptism.

Source: clarin

All news articles on 2024-02-22

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