A wildly inconsistent team Atlanta United saw the power of Lionel Messi and…Robert Taylor.
In his second appearance and first start for Inter Miami, Lionel Messi is beginning to make North America look like his playground. In 114 minutes, the 35-year-old has three goals and an assist. His might was on full display in a 4-0 drubbing on Atlanta United.
It took the World Cup winner just eight minutes to score his first, finishing the night with two goals and an assist.
Sergio Busquets, also making his first start and Messi flashed their vintage link on the first goal. The Spaniard sprayed a pass over Atlanta’s midfield and defense to find Messi, whose shot clattered off the post. As he so often is, Messi was ready to collect his own miss, slotting the ball into the back of the net from close range.
On the build-up to the second goal featured a notable trend that would continue throughout the game.
The Messi-Robert Taylor connection.
Taylor eviscerated Atlanta on the left flank. Often times linking up with Messi as one or the other found a channel toward goal. Nearly every time Taylor cut in, Atlanta left the winger run wild, finishing with two goals and an assist.
On Taylor’s first link-up goal with Messi, the Argentine found Taylor on the left flank before the Finnish international flicked a cross onto the midfielder, which Messi deftly finished with his right.
The duo was not finished. Capitalizing on Atlanta’s full push up the field in the second half, Messi and Taylor took full advantage of the space behind. With Atlanta losing possession in Inter’s penalty box, Messi received the ball and carried 40 yards up the pitch. With defenders focused on Messi, Taylor was easily slipped through to score his second from close range.
Coming into the second round of the Leagues Cup, Taylor had two goals and four assists on the season. In just one game alongside Messi, he has reached half that total.
Robert Taylor is just one of many players who stand to benefit from playing alongside Messi and Sergio Busquets. .