Thiago Almada takes the spotlight as Atlanta trounces Nashville


Saba Lobjanidze scores filthy backheel goal for Atlanta United

Saba Lobjanidze gets the goal to go off of his backheel to give Atlanta United a 4-0 lead.

Thiago Almada scored a goal and two assists, and Brad Guzan made one save as Atlanta United beat Nashville SC 4-0 on Saturday night at Atlanta, Ga.

Xande Silva, Miles Robinson and Saba Lobjanidze also had goals for Atlanta United (11-7-8, 41 points).

- Stream on ESPN+: LaLiga, Bundesliga, more (U.S.)

Making his home debut, Silva scored the first goal in the 26th minute, volleying in Almada's pass following a buildup that started with Guzan in goal.

Almada made it 2-0 less than a minute into the second half, chipping a shot over Nashville's Joe Willis to double Atlanta's advantage. Robinson extended the lead to 3-0 in the 57th minute, heading Almada's corner kick for his first goal of 2023.

The Argentinian midfielder continued his starring performance in the 87th minute, dribbling through four defenders before linking up with Lobjanidze, who finished to score in his home debut.

Nashville (11-9-5, 38 points) placed just one shot on target while Atlanta had 11.

Both sides traded chances early in the match as Almada set up team-leading scorer Giorgos Giakoumakis in the eighth minute before he chipped Willis and struck the post. In the14th minute, Alamada hit the woodwork himself.

Nashville nearly found its breakthrough in the 20th minute, as MLS leading goal scorer Hany Mukhtar intercepted a pass from Tristan Muyumba before curling his shot off target.

Despite the lead, Atlanta head coach Gonzalo Pineda voiced his frustrations to referee Jon Freemon, earning himself a 35th-minute yellow card.

For Nashville, the struggles in MLS play continue as they dropped their fourth match in a row, with its last victory coming on July 1, a 2-0 victory over D.C. United.

Two of the league's top scorers, Giakoumakis and Mukhtar, failed to boost their totals. Mukhtar's Nashville struggled to develop attacks through the second half, finishing with just one shot on target.

The Five Stripes saw home debuts for their summer signings, with Silva and Muyumba starting in front of the home supporters for the first time, while Lobjanidze entered the match as a 61st-minute substitute.