Three takeaways from Inter Miami’s 3-2 comeback victory over CF Montreal

Three takeaways from Inter Miami’s 3-2 comeback victory over CF Montreal

Inter Miami picked up three more important points on the road against CF Montreal Saturday night at Stade Saputo in a 3-2 comeback victory.

Miami tightened their grip on first place in the Supporters’ Shield standings with their fifth consecutive victory in Major League Soccer action. Although the legendary Lionel Messi was unable to find the back of the net or dish out a mind-boggling assist, Miami were still able to prevail thanks to strong performances from players like Luis Suarez and Matias Rojas.

There will be nights where Messi may be “off it” or simply unavailable for selection through injury or international duty. It happened to be one of those nights for the Argentina international and it wasn’t a bad performance by any means — it just didn’t stack up to his recent showings, such as his five assists against New York Red Bulls last weekend.

Here are three main takeaways from the south Florida side’s latest victory.

Benjamin Cremaschi grabbed the winning goal for Miami / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal opened the scoring in the first half through Bryce Duke’s low-drive effort through Drake Callender’s legs. This meant that this was the fifth-straight match that Miami conceded the first goal before going on the claim all three points and the seventh-straight match that they’ve allowed their opponents to strike first.

Miami made things harder for themselves when Jules-Anthony Vilsaint added Montreal’s second of the game moments later. However, Miami still managed to score three unanswered to take all three points back to Chase Stadium.

While this definitely is a cause of concern and will drive head coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino crazy, it shows that Miami are never truly out of a fight. This could bode well when October and November roll around for MLS Cup playoffs, and it also shows that even with somewhat leaky defense, the Herons have what it takes up front to see just about see out matches.

Rojas has shined for the Herons / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

If Rojas keeps up his impressive form, there’s a good chance he might be considered for signing of the season. However, Suarez will more than likely run home with the award as he bagged his 11th goal of the campaign, which is tied for the most in MLS alongside former Crystal Palace forward Christian Benteke.

In terms of value, Rojas has been an absolute bargain for Miami. The 28-year-old Paraguay international joined several weeks back as a free agent from Brazilian outfit Corinthians after the club and he decided to mutually terminate his contract. Rojas has the experience and quality to uproot Robert Taylor from the left-wing position in Martino’s lineup — which is exactly what he’s done with three goals and one assist in just 131 minutes played.

Miami’s attack was already lauded as one of the league’s best, but with Rojas now in the mix, the Herons’ frontline looks unstoppable.

BANGERS ONLY 🤯 An absolute stunner from Matias Rojas 🇵🇾 💥

— Inter Miami CF (@InterMiamiCF) May 12, 2024

Messi couldn’t find the back of the net vs Montreal / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Messi’s teammates were able to pick up some of the slack as he was unable to register a goal involvement in the win over Montreal. It was the least they could do for the 36-year-old, as he’s already recorded a whopping 10 goals and 12 assists in the 2024 MLS campaign.

As you might expect, Messi has been at the focal point of Miami’s early success this season. The Barcelona legend has been directly involved in 22 of Miami’s 35 league goals — roughly 63% of the team’s goals scored in 13 matches played.

Messi has also recorded at least one goal or one assist in each match he’s played in all competitions this season dating back to the team’s 2-0 triumph over Real Salt Lake — up until the win over Montreal when the eight-time Ballon d’Or winner blanked.

However, Suarez and Rojas managed to do their fair share up front to inspire Miami to victory despite Messi taking the day off. Youngster Benjamin Cremaschi went on to find the winning goal just before the 60th minute in his first start of the season.

Although Messi himself will always want to be among the goals and assists in each match he plays, he knows that he has quality teammates he can rely on to chip in here and there to propel Miami to future victories.

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