Inter Miami 1-3 Atlanta United: Player ratings as Lobjanidze double powers Five Stripes to victory

  • Atlanta United won their first MLS match in two months to snap a nine match winless run
  • Inter Miami suffered defeat for the first time since their April 10 Champions Cup exit to CF Monterrey
  • Saba Lobjanidze propelled Atlanta to a convincing victory with two stunning strikes
Saba Lobjanidze bagged a brace
Saba Lobjanidze bagged a brace / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

Two stunning strikes from Saba Lobjanidze were enough to see Atlanta United collect all three points in a 3-1 triumph over Inter Miami.

With the likes of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Sergio Busquets back in the lineup, Miami were expected pick up where they left off against Vancouver Whitecaps. However, the visiting Five Stripe s were the better side in the opening stages with a few decent looks at Drake Callender's goal after a Messi headed effort bounced just over the bar.

Atlanta kept their foot on the gas pedal despite squandering multiple close-range chances in the first 45. That all changed when Saba Lobjanidze fired in a rocket of a shot off his right boot into the far corner that Callender was couldn't keep out. Somehow, Atlanta were unable to convert their chances from point-blank range but managed to find the back of the net on a shot that was worth just .07 xG to take a 1-0 lead into halftime.

The Five Stripes doubled their lead early in the second half and it was Lobjanidze once again. Atlanta's No. 9 drifted inside off the right-wing and neither Jordi Alba or Federico Redondo moved to close him down as he unleashed a curling effort into the far corner to put his side 2-0 up in the 69th minute.

But as we've seen this season, Miami are never truly out of a match. Just two minutes later, Messi found the back of the net with a well-placed low-driven effort that Josh Cohen couldn't get a glove to. Messi pulled one back for the hosts and it was game on once again in south Florida.

Nearly 10 minutes later, Atlanta added their third of the contest to restore their two-goal lead and silence the fans at Chase Stadium. The young Caleb Wiley squared a simple pass across the face of goal for Jamal Thiare to tap-in from close range, and the Five Stripes were 3-1 up on Messi and Co. -- a score line that surprised the Major League Soccer world given Atlanta's torrid recent form.

The Herons would go on to suffer their third defeat of the season but they managed to keep hold of first place in the Supporters' Shield for another week thanks to FC Cincinnati's defeat to Nashville SC. On the other hand, Atlanta picked up their first league win since March 31, and head coach Gonzalo Pineda will hope that it will be the start of an unbeaten run as he's very much on the hot seat.

Inter Miami player ratings ( 4-3-3 )

Messi managed to get on the scoresheet
Messi managed to get on the scoresheet / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

GK: Drake Callender - 5/10 - There was no stopping that first strike from Lobjanidze. However, he had plenty of time to adjust for the Georgia international's second effort but couldn't get a glove to it.

RB: Marcelo Weigandt - 6/10 - Wasn't as impactful in attack like we've seen from him in recent matches.

CB: Tomas Aviles - 5/10 - Stepped up to make a brilliant challenge on Almada but could've done better to close down Lobjanidze on both occasions.

CB: Serhiy Kryvtsov - 6/10 - Like Aviles, he had solid moments of one-on-one defending outside of the instance where he allowed Lobjanidze to turn into too much space.

LB: Jordi Alba - 6/10 - Excellent movement down the left-hand side that nearly put the Herons in front early on. His high positioning, however, left Miami exposed in defense throughout the match.

CM: Julian Gressel - 6/10 - Started the match off in fine form and faked out the entire Atlanta defense to set up Suarez at the top of the penalty area -- before his shot was saved.

CM: Sergio Busquets - 7/10 - Reliable in possession but was bypassed too many times by the likes of Almada and Lobjanidze. Rebounded with the assist to set up Messi's strike in the second half.

CM: Federico Redondo - 6/10 - Helped recycle possession in the middle of the park.

RW: Lionel Messi - 8/10 - His excellent low-driven strike got the Herons back in the game but it wasn't enough to spark a comeback.

ST: Luis Suarez - 6/10 - A limited night for the Uruguay in front of goal. He didn't have many chances to register a decent attempt on target.

LW: Robert Taylor - 6/10 - A strong first 45 from the Finland international, but he faded as the match wore on in the second half.


SUB: Matias Rojas (58' for Gressel) - 6/10

SUB: Leo Campana (75' for Taylor) - 6/10


Gerardo 'Tata' Martino - 5/10 - Even with the talent Atlanta has, Miami had no business losing the match in the manner they did. If it was a close game that Miami were unlucky in, that would be a different story. However, the Herons were outplayed in every major stat other than possession -- with their four ex-Barcelona players in the XI.

Player of the match - Saba Lobjanidze (Atlanta United)