Inter Miami clinched an impressive 4-0 win over Toronto FC. Yet, the abrupt substitutions of football greats Lionel Messi and Jordi Alba became the talk of the match, causing concern among fans and experts alike.
Messi and Alba, both absent from Miami’s recent match citing “muscle fatigue,” were ushered off the pitch, hinting at potential lower-body issues.
The club’s coach, Gerardo Martino, had previously attributed their non-participation to precautionary reasons, emphasizing the need to keep them in peak condition for the impending U.S. Open Cup final slated for September 27. Messi’s 37-minute appearance was particularly unexpected, given Miami’s flawless 11-0-1 record in all contests with him on board.
Taylor Shines Amid Uncertainties
Taking the mantle from Messi, Robert Taylor proved to be a revelation. He notched two goals and laid on another. At 54 minutes, Taylor’s skilful touch saw the ball nestle in from just outside the box. Come the 87th minute, a deft chip from Facundo Farias allowed Taylor to find the net from a tight angle. Furthermore, Taylor turned provider for Benjamin Cremaschi in the 73rd minute, ensuring Miami’s lead was unassailable.
Though Miami’s victory positions them favourably in the Eastern Conference race, Messi and Alba’s fitness concerns could cast shadows with the looming US Open Cup final. Moreover, Toronto FC’s plight was compounded by injuries to Victor Vazquez and Brandon Servania within the match’s initial 26 minutes. Such disruptions extended the first half’s duration, paving the way for Farias to capitalize during the additional time.