Inter Miami trounces Orlando City 5-0

FORT LAUDERDALE  — The dynamic duo of Lionel Messi and Luis Suárez, once the hallmark of Barcelona’s attacking prowess, illuminated the pitch once again on Saturday, this time donning the colors of Inter Miami. Their scintillating performance, reminiscent of their glory days, propelled Inter Miami to a resounding 5-0 victory over Orlando City, igniting hopes of a sustained dominance.

Messi and Suárez, both instrumental figures during their tenure at Barcelona, each netted two goals in a display of sheer brilliance, leaving Orlando City’s star goalkeeper Pedro Gallese uncredited with any saves.

In a quick succession early in the second half, Messi showcased his trademark scoring prowess with consecutive goals, while Suárez, at 37 years old, made an immediate impact in his third Major League Soccer (MLS) match, following his Barcelona comrade to Inter Miami. Suárez, who also provided two assists, expressed confidence in their continued synergy, stating, “He knows everything about me, and I think we will continue to do so.”

Former Barcelona stalwarts Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba, now in their first full MLS season with Inter Miami, further bolstered the team’s lineup alongside Messi, underscoring their commitment to success. Julian Gressel remarked on their unwavering dedication, noting, “Those guys aren’t here to put their feet up.”

Suárez, with 381 club goals over 19 seasons, notched his first two MLS goals within a seven-minute blitz early in the first half. Robert Taylor and Gressel contributed to the onslaught, securing Inter Miami’s unbeaten streak in their first three games of the season, while Orlando City faltered to 0-1-1.

Inter Miami supporters scarcely settled into their seats before Suárez struck four minutes into the match, capitalizing on Messi’s pinpoint pass. Suárez’s adept finish set the tone for the evening, as he later turned provider for Taylor’s goal in the 29th minute.

Messi, joining the scoring spree in the 57th minute, demonstrated his clinical precision, while Suárez’s adept assist set up Messi’s second goal with a deft header in the 62nd minute.

Inter Miami coach Gerardo “Tata” Martino praised the team’s collective effort, emphasizing Suárez’s multifaceted contribution and the importance of preserving the shutout.

However, tensions simmered as Suárez exchanged words with Orlando players at halftime, adding an edge to an otherwise dominant performance.

Saturday marked the beginning of a packed schedule for Inter Miami, with seven matches lined up in the month ahead. Meanwhile, Argentina’s call for Messi’s services in two upcoming exhibitions underscores the demanding calendar facing the football icon.

Amidst the fervor of the match, Jaime Herrera replaced Guiherme Ceretta as center referee shortly before kickoff, addressing concerns raised by social media photos and ensuring the integrity of the game.

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