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Lionel Messi leads MLS 2024 Golden Boot race following his brace against New England

Published at :April 28, 2024 at 8:57 PM
Modified at :April 28, 2024 at 9:19 PM
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Rajarshi Shukla

The Argentine scored brace in 4-1 win over New England Revolution

In Saturday’s 4-1 away victory over the New England Revolution, Lionel Messi not only scored twice but also provided an assist. This victory kept Inter Miami atop the Supporters’ Shield standings and cemented Messi’s leadership in the Golden Boot competition.

Of course, Miami has played one more game than the other teams in the league, but the only team with a higher points-per-game average is the seventh-place Philadelphia Union. With three less games under their belt, Philadelphia trails Miami by eight points.

Saturday, Messi scored a goal off a feed from Sergio Busquets in the 69th minute to put Miami ahead after he dribbled past the New England defence to bury a Robert Taylor assist near post.

When Benjamin Cremaschi scored on the ensuing rebound of a Messi shot to make it 3-1, there was going to be no assist. Later in the game, Messi finished with all four goals by establishing a goal for Suarez.

The Argentine’s eighth and ninth goals in this MLS season have put him ahead of Cristian Arango of Real Salt Lake and maintained him ahead of Christian Benteke, who had a good Saturday night himself for DC United.

With his fourth assist, Messi is now tied for fifth among the MLS contribution list with fellow player Luis Suarez and Joseph Paintsil of the Galaxy. With six apiece, Robin Lod and Dante Vanzeir are atop the league.

To put his effort against New England into perspective, consider that the 36-year-old striker made MLS history by becoming the first player to have five straight games with five or more goals contributed. In addition, he now has nine goals and seven assists in the league after this performance.

Amazingly, at this stage of the season, this places the Argentine hero atop the MLS scoring and assist charts. Tata Martino, the head coach of Miami, stated after a thrilling win:

“People in every stadium come to see and support Leo Messi, but after they want their team to win.

“We are motivated by the atmosphere each city provides, but we know it incentivises the rivals, as well. And we try to prepare for that. The excitement each team and their fan base has of facing Inter Miami with the players that we have, we’ve handed it well. This was all a lesson last year.”

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