Inter Miami 3-1 Nashville SC: Player ratings as Messi stars in the Herons' fifth win of 2024

  • Inter Miami picked up three points at home against Nashville SC
  • Lionel Messi bagged a brace and dished out an assist from a corner kick
  • The Herons remain in first place in the Eastern Conference standings
Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets were both on the scoresheet
Lionel Messi and Sergio Busquets were both on the scoresheet / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

Lionel Messi bagged a brace and registered one assist in Inter Miami's 3-1 triumph over Nashville SC at Chase Stadium.

It was a nightmare start for the Herons after the visitors earned the first corner kick of the contest. Daniel Lovitz sent in an in-swinging cross from his favored left foot, and it didn't find a teammate but instead a Miami defender. Franco Negri -- who was filling in at left-back for the injured Jordi Alba -- attempted to guide the ball out of harm's way but instead turned it into his own net off of his knee.

Even though the visitors opened the scoring three minutes in, the hosts would strike back not too long after. After Luis Suarez and Messi were both denied from close range, the ball bounced around the Nashville penalty area before a sliding Messi guided the ball into the back of the net to even things up in the 11th minute. Suarez was credited with the assist after his shot was deflected into Messi's path.

Miami went in front for the first time on the night just before the halftime break. Lionel Messi sent in a curling corner kick that Sergio Busquets met at the front post to open his Miami account. It was a fantastic effort from the 35-year-old whose headed effort was flicked on from quite a tight angle.

Substitute Leo Afonso was dragged down in the box, resulting in a penalty for the Herons. Messi stepped right up and slotted it home from 12 yards out and sent Joe Willis the wrong way to add his second goal of the night.

The Herons would go on to see out the 3-1 triumph and record their fifth win of the 2024 campaign. Gerardo 'Tata' Martino's remain at the top of the Eastern Conference table with 18 points from 10 games played and will return to action next Saturday to take on the struggling New England Revolution at Gillette Stadium.

Inter Miami player ratings ( 4-3-3 )

Messi scored his sixth goal of the season
Messi scored his sixth goal of the season / Nathan Ray Seebeck-USA TODAY Sports

GK: Drake Callender - 6/10 - He wasn't at fault for the early own goal and he nearly kept it out. Didn't have much to do for the rest of the night.

RB: Marcelo Weigandt - 7/10 - Poor going forward but a stronger showing in defense.

CB: Tomas Aviles - 7/10 - Denied Surridge from point-blank range with a crucial block right on his own goal line.

CB: Nicolas Freire - 6/10 - Pulled out of position on multiple occasions and clearly a weak point in the Miami backline but improved as the game wore on.

LB: Franco Negri - 5/10 - Was at the wrong place at the wrong time for the unfortunate own goal.

CM: Julian Gressel - 6/10 - The former Atlanta United figure failed to make an impact on the game from the midfield.

CM: Sergio Busquets - 7/10 - Careless in possession to start the game but it was masked by his magnificent headed effort to score his first goal for Miami.

CM: David Ruiz - 6/10 - A quiet performance from the young midfielder.

RW: Lionel Messi - 9/10 - The 36-year-old stole the show once again with a stunning display, grabbing a goal and an assist in the process.

ST: Luis Suarez - 7/10 - His hold-up play was excellent and he managed to register one assist with a lucky deflection into Messi's path.

LW: Diego Gomez - 6/10 - Was starting to find his way in the contest before he was unfortunately forced off through injury.


SUB: Leo Afonso (41' for Gomez) - 7/10 - Continues to improve with each passing game at the first-team level.

SUB: Yannick Bright (74' for Gressel) - The player neither helped nor hindered his side.

SUB: Benjamin Cremaschi (88' for Suarez) - N/A


Gerardo 'Tata' Martino - 9/10 - Was dealt another tough hand with Diego Gomez's injury, but his side didn't miss a beat despite going behind in the opening minutes.

Player of the match - Lionel Messi (Inter Miami)