Inter Miami were unable to make it 10 victories in a row after being held on home soil by Nashville, with Brian Anunga revealing afterwards how Messi was shut out. He told reporters: “Gary [Smith] talked about staying very compact and not getting frustrated, because they were going to have the ball a lot of the time; staying disciplined and staying focused. Messi likes to drift in those pockets and find those balls, especially behind. So we tried to limit those chances throughout the game. The tactic was to stay compact, stay disciplined and stay focused throughout 90 minutes, which is not easy to do.”
WHAT THEY SAID
Nashville head coach Smith added on his tactical plan, which paid off following a recent Leagues Cup final defeat to Inter Miami in which Messi scored before the tie was decided on spot-kicks: “We expected, obviously, to concede possession. Lionel Messi himself of course can carve an opportunity out of pretty much nothing. I thought tonight the guys did a wonderful job, especially in and around the penalty area, of getting a block on or blocking his passing lanes and genuinely giving it everything they could to try and really blunt that very bright and purposeful attack that Miami have.”
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Inter Miami, who remain 10 points adrift of the play-off places in the MLS Eastern Conference, will be back in action on Sunday when taking in a trip to Los Angeles to face LAFC.