A great night for Lionel Messi! Inter Miami MLS playoff hopes receive major boost as rivals DC United, Charlotte FC and Montreal all suffer damaging defeats

Messi Inter Miami 2023Getty
  • Inter Miami just five points outside playoffs
  • DC United, Charlotte FC and Montreal all lost
  • Messi's side have three games in hand

WHAT HAPPENED? DC United, Charlotte FC and Montreal all suffered what could prove to be damaging defeats on Saturday, with Wayne Rooney's side beaten 5-3 by New York Red Bulls, despite Christian Benteke netting a first-half hat-trick.

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Charlotte FC, who are just two points ahead of Inter Miami in the table at present, lost 3-0 away to FC Cincinnati, with Alvaro Barreal, Aaron Boupendza and Luciano Acosta all netting for the home side. Finally, Montreal suffered a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Atalanta United, with Joel Waterman shown a red card late on to further add to their woes.

DID YOU KNOW? Inter Miami still have three games in hand over ninth-placed DC United. Gerardo Martino's side are five points behind the Black and Red and know if their form as of late is to continue, they could still qualify for the playoffs.

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Wayne Rooney DC United 2023Getty ImagesLionel Messi Benjamin Cremaschi Inter Miami 2023GettyLionel Messi Inter Miami 2023-24Getty Images

WHAT NEXT FOR INTER MIAMI?: Inter Miami take on Orlando City this weekend, but Messi has been touted as a doubt given he was withdrawn during the first half of his side's most recent 4-0 home win against Toronto.