Atlanta United and their summer signings put on a show at Mercedes-Benz Stadium in front of over 71,000 spectators, as Inter Miami sorely missed Lionel Messi in the heavy defeat.
Miami started off on the front foot with Atlanta struggling to maintain possession, finding the opening goal after Dixon Arroyo’s long-range striker struck the crossbar that was followed up by a stunning display of individual skill from Leonardo Campana.
But after the initial goal, Atlanta United took over. The Five Stripes went on to score three goals in the span of eight minutes before the end of the first half, with Tristan Muyumba finding the back of the net with a headed effort (his first goal for Atlanta) that struck the post and went in, according to VAR.
Forward Giorgos Giakoumakis scored his 14th goal in his first season on MLS (in only 1,380 minutes played), which is joint-most in the league, while full-back Brooks Lennon notched one goal and provided his ninth assist of the season.
Three of Atlanta’s summer signings impressed once again, with Muyumba getting on the scoresheet while controlling the midfield, winger Xande Silva helping his side take the lead after his cut-back pass was turned in by Miami’s Kamal Miller, and Saba Lobjanidze came off the bench to provide two assists in roughly 16 minutes of normal time.
“It’s actually incredible, like, always you have a lot of movement in the [transfer] window and those guys came in and immediately, I mean, Tristan’s first couple games are unbelievable,” Atlanta forward Miguel Berry said after the game.
“The same for Saba, he got two assists tonight and he had two goals in his first few games. So he’s been unbelievable and I mean, Xande did the same and they’re all great guys, they fit in the group well and I think that’s a big part of it.”
While many were expecting Lionel Messi to take part in some capacity against Atlanta after being left out of Argentina’s squad in their 3-0 victory over Bolivia, Berry revealed that whether or not the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner played didn’t really change their approach to the game.
“There were whispers the whole week. But, you know, we were confident in who we are and the thing is obviously Messi is the best player ever,” Berry said of the rumors before the game,
“So, part and parcel was preparing for him, but at the same time, we’re Atlanta United, we’re a great team. And we have to play out game and you know, if we change for one player, we’re not gonna have the same success game to game. So it’s important that we play our brand of football and we did tonight and it worked out.”
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