Portuguese winger Silva, who completed a loan move to America in August, told reporters of the defiant message that had been sounded by the Atlanta squad before a ball was kicked: “We don’t care about Messi. We care about us. We want to be in the play-offs.”
WHAT THEY SAID
Atalanta boss Gonzalo Pineda was also eager to point out that his team had done everything in their power to turn attention away from Messi - regardless of whether he figured in Inter Miami’s plans or not. He said: “A lot of things that are going out there in the atmosphere and everything seems to be about Inter Miami, about Messi, about all that. And I told them we have to turn that down to ‘it’s about us, it’s about Atlanta United’.”
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Atlanta have cemented their standing inside the MLS Eastern Conference play-off places, as they sit sixth, but Inter Miami remain second-from-bottom and have a seven-point gap to bridge through just six games in order to make the post-season.