Tata Martino: Orlando City thrashing 'may have been Inter Miami's most complete game'

Tata Martino: Orlando City thrashing 'may have been Inter Miami's most complete game'
Durch: 90min.com Erstellt am: März 04, 2024 anzeigen: 20

Gerardo 'Tata' Martino was quite the happy camper after his side's 5-0 triumph over Orlando City at Chase Stadium, highlighting how the Herons played a "great game" in front of their supporters.

It was a dominant showing from the Herons, with dynamic duo Luis Suarez and Lionel Messi looking certain to score each time they drove up the pitch in transition against an Orlando defense that struggled all afternoon. The Lions left too much space for Messi and Suarez to operate in, as they both grabbed braces before the final whistle.

Martino was impressed with how his team raced forward on counter-attacks to exploit Orlando's high line that couldn't keep up the former Barcelona figures. Martino also thinks his team's performance on Saturday afternoon was their best showing since he took charge of the south Florida club, and that's without the likes of Benjamin Cremaschi and Facundo Farias, who are out through injury.

"There were many aspects of the game that we managed well, but overall I'd highlight how organized we were in the process, how fast and certain we were in transition, and the assertiveness we had," Martino said after the victory.

"I think we also had a defensive resurgence. Honestly, the team played a great game. It may have been our most complete game since I began coaching Inter Miami."

Martino highlighting the team's improved defensive showings shouldn't be overlooked when comparing the start of this season to that of 2023. Of course, Miami have undergone some huge changes since with the likes of Messi, Suarez, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba joining. But they still have some of the same faces that were already part of the squad before Martino arrived -- such as Serhiy Kryvtsov and Drake Callender.

Three games into the new season, Miami have scored eight goals and conceded just once to carry a goal difference of plus-seven. In the 2023 season that began under then-head coach Phil Neville (who's now in charge at Portland Timbers), Miami found the back four times while conceding once to start the previous campaign with a goal difference of plus-three after three games played.

While it's only an increase of three goals, it's still an improvement and a step in the right direction for Miami, who struggled massively after their first three games last season before Neville was shown the exit door.

Suarez and Messi were deadly in attack / Thaddaeus McAdams/GettyImages

Prior to the Sunshine Clasico, Suarez received plenty of criticism for his performances against Real Salt Lake and LA Galaxy as he was unable to find the back of the net. However, he responded by not only bagging a brace, but also dishing out two assists to prove he still has what it takes to be a difference maker at 37 years old.

"The striker, the soccer player, has to get used to living with criticism day after day," Suarez said in a postgame interview with Miami Total Futbol's Franco Panizo.

"People in soccer don't have memories, that's how it is. In that sense, I am very used to it. I have been in professional football for almost 20 years and I don't worry about the things that are said."

Miami, who've taken seven points from a possible nine to start the season, now prepare to take on Nashville SC in a Leagues Cup final rematch in the round of 16 of the Concacaf Champions Cup this Friday at GEODIS Park. The two sides will collide again in the second leg on March 13 at Chase Stadium.

READ THE LATEST INTER MIAMI & LIONEL MESSI NEWS, RUMOURS & GOSSIP

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