Lionel Messi logs brace, assist in Miami's 3-1 win vs. Nashville

Messi made it 14 goals and assists in all competitions for Miami this season.

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Lionel Messi continues to be a man in form.

The Argentine scored a brace and added an assist to help lead Inter Miami to a 3-1 home win over Nashville in league action on Saturday.

After a 3-2 road win over Sporting Kansas City last time out, Miami conceded an own goal off a corner kick in just the second minute. An incoming ball deflected off defender Franco Negri and past Drake Callender for an early deficit.

But Messi, as usual, didn't let the early goal dissuade his team. In just the 11th minute, he found a scrappy equalizer to tie things up and make it his sixth goal in as many games.

Messi kept the pressure coming in the first half and helped his side take the lead in the 39th minute. The Argentine delivered an inswinging corner kick that former Barcelona teammate Sergio Busquets flipped home with his head.

Messi then put the nail in Nashville's coffin in the 81st minute via a penalty. Nashville backup goalie Joe Willis, who came on at halftime for Elliot Panicco, was sent the wrong way.

It marked Messi's first penalty since the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar, and he had no trouble slotting it away.

The win put Miami three points clear at the top of the Eastern Conference, though it has played two more games than second-place New York Red Bulls.

With 22 goals scored as a whole, Miami currently is the highest-scoring team in the league. However, Miami has conceded 15 goals, which is the worst among any current playoff-bound team if the league ended on this matchday.

Messi and Miami will next be in action on Saturday, April 27, at the New England Revolution, who are currently dead last out East.

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