Miami needs more of what they got out of Alejandro Pozuelo on Saturday
Alejandro Pozuelo led Inter Miami to a 3-2 win over New York City FC on Saturday, August 13th. Pozuelo scored two goals (his first two goals with Miami), and then also contributed an assist. He also completed 86% of his passes in the match. They could use even more of that from him moving forward.
In the match on Saturday, Pozuelo scored the equalizer in the 39th minute with a very nice finish from right at the edge of the box. Pozuelo and Bryce Duke played some give-and-go, then Pozuelo rifled a shot home for his first goal as a member of Inter Miami.
Pozuelo then picked up a secondary assist on another equalizer in the 63rd minute. Pozuelo redirected a ball with his head towards Gonzalo Higuain who then laid the ball off to Ariel Lassiter who put the ball past the keeper to level things at two apiece.
Then came the match winner in the 84th minute, which might have been one of the easier goals of Pozuelo's career. It came from a mistake at the back by NYCFC. An errant pass that was left short fell right to the feet of a running Pozuelo who first timed the ball past Sean Johnson to give Miami the 3-2 win. While the goal came off a mistake from the opposition, it was still a very big goal for Miami that the squad very well needed.
Miami had fallen behind in the 34th minute as Talles Magno scored from about 12 yards out after a ball had been headed back to him off of a free kick. It was a nice set piece goal for NYCFC.
NYCFC then went back ahead in the waning seconds of the first half as Thiago Andrade scored after a very chaotic series in the box.
For the match itself, NYCFC edged Miami in three major categories. They out-possessed Miami 57%-43%, completed 89% of their passes compared to Miami's 83.2%, plus held the edge in Expected Goals 2.2-1.9. However, Pozuelo helped turn the tide on the statistics and helped lead Miami to a big three points.
The win was a big one for Miami as they battle for the playoffs in a tight group in the middle of the Eastern Conference table. Miami now sits 7th in the East with 33 points through 25 matches. They're seventh with tiebreakers in play, but from a raw points perspective they are in a four-way tie for sixth (alongside Orlando, New England, and Cincinnati).
Pozuelo has given Miami a boost since he arrived (although he hadn't been contributing goals before this weekend). Miami has picked up 11 points (three wins, two draws, and a loss) in the six matches since Miami acquired him. Pozuelo has completed a superb 88.2% of his passes while with Miami. He's also made 13 key passes in that span. Pozuelo has also played 15 accurate long balls as well.
While his form as a whole has been quality for Miami and we all know that he'll regularly be a fantastic passer, if they can get goal contribution production from him like they did this weekend then it will be a massive boost to Miami's playoff hopes. This is a team that needs more goals (currently tied for 19th in the league in goals scored), and if Pozuelo can play like he did on Saturday then that will help Miami a lot.
Again, this isn't to say that Pozuelo hasn't played well for Miami so far, but if Miami could get a bit more of the MVP caliber of play that Pozuelo had back in 2019 and 2020 (which he showed on Saturday) then that would go a long way towards Miami making a run.