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Three steps taken by Inter Miami to win 3-2 against CF Montreal

Inter Miami picked up three important points on the road against CF Montreal on Saturday night at Stade Saputo in a 3-2 victory.

Miami strengthened its hold on the top spot in the Supporters’ Shield list with its fifth straight win in Major League Soccer. Although the legendary Lionel Messi didn’t score a goal or provide an impressive assist, Miami was still able to win thanks to strong performances from the likes of Luis Suarez and Matias Rojas.

There will be nights when Messi may be “absent” or unavailable for selection due to injury or international duty. It was one of those nights for the Argentina international and it wasn’t a bad performance by any means — it didn’t match his recent displays, like his five assists against the New York Red Bulls last weekend.

Here are three key takeaways from Florida’s recent victory.

Benjamin Cremaschi grabbed the winning goal for Miami

Benjamin Cremaschi grabs the winning goal for Miami / Eric Bolte-USA TODAY Sports

Montreal opened the scoring in the first half with a low-drive by Bryce Duke through the legs of Drake Callender. This meant that this was the fifth straight game in which Miami gave up the first goal before going for three points and the seventh straight game that they allowed their opponents to score first.

Miami made things difficult for themselves when Jules-Anthony Vilsaint added Montreal’s second of the game late on. However, Miami still managed to score three unanswered points to get the three points back at Chase Stadium.

While this is a cause for concern and will drive coach Gerardo ‘Tata’ Martino crazy, it shows that Miami will never really be out of the fight. This could go well when October and November start playing games for the MLS Cup, and it shows that even with a rewarding defense, the Herons have what it takes up front to see games.

Rojas lit up the Herons

Rojas shines for Herons / Sam Navarro-USA TODAY Sports

If Rojas continues his impressive form, there is a good chance he will be considered for a season-long signing. However, Suarez is likely to run home with the award as he notched his 11th goal of the campaign, tied for the most in MLS with former Crystal Palace striker Christian Benteke.

In terms of value, Rojas has been a bargain in Miami. The 28-year-old Paraguayan joined a few weeks ago as a free agent from Corinthians in Brazil after the club decided to terminate both his contracts. Rojas has the experience and quality to replace Robert Taylor on the left wing in Martino’s lineup – which he has done with three goals and one assist in just 131 minutes played.

Miami’s offense was already touted as one of the league’s best, but with Rojas now in the mix, the Herons’ frontline looks unstoppable.

Lionel Messi

Messi couldn’t find a goal against Montreal / Minas Panagiotakis/GettyImages

Messi’s teammates managed to struggle as he could not register his participation in the victory over Montreal. There was little they could do for the 36-year-old, who has already recorded 10 goals and 12 assists in the 2024 MLS campaign.

As you might expect, Messi was at the heart of Miami’s first success of the season. The Barcelona legend has been directly involved in 22 of Miami’s 35 league goals — nearly 63% of the team’s goals in 13 games played.

Messi has recorded at least one goal or one assist in every game he has played in every competition this season from the team’s 2-0 win over Real Salt Lake — until the eighth Ballon d’ victory over Montreal. Or the empty winner.

However, Suarez and Rojas managed to do their best up front to inspire Miami to victory despite Messi taking a day off. Young Benjamin Cremaschi went on to score the winner just before the 60th minute on his season debut.

While Messi himself will always want to be among the goals and assists in every game he plays, he knows that he has some quality teammates that he can count on to step in here and there to propel Miami to victory in the future.

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