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Messi provided two assists in front of the star-studded Los Angeles crowd as Inter Miami beat LAFC 3-1

LOS ANGELES –

Inter Miami have been unbeaten since Lionel Messi joined the club in mid-July.

On Sunday night they played their best game of the season away from the reigning MLS Cup champions.

Messi provided two assists in front of a star-studded crowd in Inter Miami’s 3-1 win over Los Angeles Football Club.

“We had a lot of complex games. I think because of the quality of the opponent today, this was one of the most challenging and the game where we performed the best over 90 minutes. I think that’s a very good sign,” said Miami coach Gerardo. “Tata,” said Martino.

Facundo Farias, Jordi Alba and Leonardo Campana scored for Miami, who are unbeaten in their last 11 games in all competitions.

Ryan Hollingshead scored for LAFC, who have conceded their last two goals.

Miami’s visit to Los Angeles was considered one of the highlight games since Messi’s arrival. It was seen by 22,921 fans, a record for LAFC’s BMO Stadium.

It also became one of the most sought-after tickets in MLS’s 27-year history.

According to TickPick, the average purchase price for the game was $717, which was 515% more than the $110 before Messi’s signing.

In comparison, Beyonce’s concert at SoFi Stadium had an average purchase price of $493.

Celebrities in attendance included Britain’s Prince Harry, LAFC co-owner Will Ferrell, Leonardo DiCaprio, Selena Gomez, Owen Wilson, Mario Lopez and Edward Norton. Former Ted Lasso stars Jason Sudeikis and Brendan Hunting also attended the game.

“It felt like a playoff game at first, but I think we expected that,” said LAFC coach Steve Cherundolo.

Sunday’s game will be Messi’s last game against Miami for at least the next two weeks. The 36-year-old will take part in Argentina’s World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador on Thursday and Bolivia five days later.

“We’ll try to do our best against Kansas City (on Saturday),” said Martino. “We also hope that the players who leave the team come back safe and sound so that we can continue this phase.”

Messi has 11 goals and eight assists for Miami, eight points off a playoff berth in the Eastern Conference with eight regular-season games remaining.

Alba and Sergio Busquets, who were Messi’s team-mates at Barcelona, ​​are also getting in shape. Alba has scored twice since arriving in Miami while Busquets prepared the pass for Messi that led to Alba’s goal.

“They play disciplined,” Cherundolo said of Miami. “It is very clear that they are extremely effective on offense. For the opponents, that means you have to be the same because you won’t have many chances.”

Messi shot wide in the 38th minute but LAFC goalkeeper John McCarthy saved with a left foot.

Gomez, like many in the crowd, was surprised when McCarthy stopped a shot from Messi at close range. Although McCarthy wasn’t happy with the result, he was handed Messi’s shirt after the game.

“He passed one of our guys, I saw him want to pull the trigger and he made me as big as I could,” said McCarthy, who made three saves in the game.

Farias, who turned 21 on August 28, made his second start since joining the club in late July, scoring his first goal in the 14th minute.

Tomas Aviles played a great pass in midfield while Farias ran up the right side of the field. Farias had an opening between two LAFC defenders and made a sliding shot with his outstretched right foot that outplayed McCarthy, hitting the far post and bouncing into goal.

Alba doubled Miami’s lead in the 51st minute with a left foot. Messi had a 2-on-1 breakaway in the 83rd minute before passing to Campana who put a wide shot into the net.

Hollingshead prevented the shutout with a header from a corner kick.

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