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Five assists and goal for Lionel Messi, hat-trick for Luis Suarez as Inter Miami defeated New York Red Bulls 6-2

Luis Suarez scored a hat-trick and Lionel Messi had five assists and a second-half goal as rampant Inter Miami defeated the New York Red Bulls 6-2 in Major League Soccer on Saturday.

Substitute Matias Rojas’ two goals led to the second-half defeat of Eastern Conference leaders Inter after New York led 1-0 at half-time.

Without Messi, Miami would have lost 4-0 to the Red Bulls in New York in March, but they more than avenged that loss with a brutal demolition job in the second half.

Messi’s five assists, all of which came in the second half, are a new record for an MLS match and he has 10 goals and 12 assists in eight league appearances so far this season.

The fact that Messi was operating behind Suarez, going through the smallest gaps and taking advantage of his former Barcelona teammate’s telepathic understanding of his intentions, was simply too much for the Red Bulls, who came into the match third in the East.

“Obviously what we saw today surprises people because you don’t see that in football,” Suarez said of Messi’s five assists.

“But as a teammate and someone who knows him, nothing about him surprises me,” the Uruguayan added.

The 37-year-old Suarez’s triples take his own tally to ten in eleven league appearances for Miami and although he is no longer blessed with speed, his lethal finishing clearly remains intact.

While it was the kind of attacking display that Miami owners Jorge Mas and David Beckham certainly dreamed of when they brought in the star pair, there was no sign of the explosiveness in the first half.

Dante Vanzeir had given the Red Bulls the lead in the 30th minute, scoring the ball after Wikelman Carmona’s shot came off the post following a brilliant through ball from Swedish playmaker Emil Forsberg.

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Gerardo Martino’s Inter lacked intensity and ideas in the first 45 minutes, but the coach’s change at half-time changed the game.

Paraguayan Rojas was introduced for the second half and needed just three minutes to make an impact. He received a pass from Messi and evaded two defenders before unleashing an unstoppable drive from 25 yards out.

Messi then put Miami ahead when Rojas robbed Carmona and found Suarez, who slipped the ball to the Argentine, who made no mistake.

The eight-time Ballon d’Or winner then turned supplier again as he split New York’s defense with a superb through ball to Rojas, who deftly cleared the advancing Carlos Coronel.

Suarez’s hat trick then came within twelve minutes. He found the net for the first time when Messi pulled in a ball from the right and the Uruguayan volleyed home.

A few minutes later it was a playground as Suarez played a one-two with Messi and then poked home to make it 5-1.

Messi was again the creator of Miami’s sixth, which Suarez turned in from close range and from the smallest of angles.

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  • “The partnership between him (Messi) and Luis (Suarez) in the second half worked very well, just like before (…) They had a great influence on the game,” Martino said.

    New York got a late consolation in the closing seconds with a penalty from Forsberg.

    (This story has not been edited by News18 staff and is published from a syndicated news agency feed – AFP)

    Feroz Khan

    Feroz Khan has been covering sports for over 12 years and is currently working

    Location: United States of America (USA)

    first print: May 5, 2024 11:39 IST