Inter Miami suffers first loss since Messi's arrival in 5-2 defeat to Atlanta United
Posted : 17 September 2023
Inter Miami, missing Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba due to muscular fatigue, suffered their first loss since Messi's arrival in a 5-2 defeat to Atlanta United.
The match, played in front of a crowd of 71,635 at Mercedes-Benz Stadium, saw Atlanta United's Tristan Muyumba, Brooks Lennon, and a Kamal Miller own goal give them a 3-1 lead at halftime. Georgios Giakoumakis and Tyler Wolff added goals in the second half to secure Atlanta's victory.
Miami's Leonardo Campana scored twice, including a penalty kick early in the second half to pull his team within one goal. Giakoumakis scored his 14th goal of the season, tying him for the league lead, and Wolff added an insurance goal late in the game.
Despite Messi's absence, Miami opened the scoring in the 25th minute when Campana capitalized on a rebound. Atlanta responded with three goals in eight minutes, with Muyumba, an own goal, and Lennon finding the net to take a 3-1 lead into halftime.
Inter Miami manager Gerardo "Tata" Martino explained that Messi and Alba's absence was due to muscular fatigue and not related to the playing surface. Atlanta United coach Gonzalo Pineda learned about Messi's absence through social media and urged his players to focus on the game despite the media attention surrounding Inter Miami.
The loss ended Inter Miami's 12-game unbeaten streak across all competitions. Atlanta United improved their home record to 9-3-3 and remained in sixth place in the MLS Eastern Conference with 45 points. Inter Miami has upcoming matches against Toronto and Orlando before competing in the U.S. Open Cup final against the Houston Dynamo.