Many followers wore Messi shirts and sang songs in regards to the membership’s biggest ever participant as they watched an entertaining match on the Camp Nou.
Long-time Barça servant Gerard Piqué headed his staff in entrance earlier than Martin Braithwaite scored both facet of half-time to place Barcelona in seemingly complete management.
But two late objectives from Real Sociedad’s Julen Lobete and Mikel Oyarzabal lower the deficit to only one aim, organising a tense last couple of minutes.
With the guests pushing for an equalizer, Sergi Roberto completed off a sweeping counter assault in added time to make sure Barcelona took all three factors within the facet’s first fixture of the brand new La Liga season.
“We made issues sophisticated for ourselves, however we performed a nice recreation,” Piqué stated after the match.
‘It was a gesture I needed to make’
Fans had been allowed again into the stadium for the primary time in 526 days on Sunday, and 20,000 supporters watched as this younger Barcelona facet tried to determine itself without Messi.
There had been definitely promising indicators that this staff might nonetheless produce on the very best degree regardless of the crippling monetary scenario that the membership finds itself in.
It dominated massive intervals of the match and confirmed it was nonetheless able to thrilling attacking soccer.
It was additionally becoming that Piqué opened the scoring, with the membership saying that the central defender had taken a pay lower to alleviate a few of the monetary strain.
“I grew up right here, I’ve performed virtually all my life right here, and it was a gesture I needed to make and I’ve been chatting with the opposite captains and they’ll do the identical too,” added Piqué, who celebrated his aim by kissing the badge on his shirt.
Elsewhere in La Liga, Real Madrid began with a gap day win over Alavés.
A brace from Karim Benzema and objectives from Nacho and Vinícius ensured Carlo Ancelotti began his new chapter on the membership with a 4-1 victory.
Meanwhile, Atlético Madrid started its title protection with a feisty 2-1 win in opposition to Celta Vigo.
Both sides had been lowered to 10 males after Hugo Mallo and Mario Hermoso had been despatched off for an incident within the closing levels. Eight yellow playing cards had been additionally proven all through the unhealthy tempered affair.
But a brace from Argentine ahead Ángel Correa fired the champion to victory, regardless of Iago Aspas initially equalizing from the penalty spot.