The post-Lionel Messi era began for Barcelona with fans chanting his name within the stands and players overcoming his absence on the sector . Barcelona’s first season without Messi in 17 years started with a 4-2 convert Real Sociedad within the Spanish league on Sunday, with many within the crowd of quite 20,000 at the Camp Nou Stadium paying tribute to Argentina star and protesting against the club for letting him go.
The majority of fans loudly chanted Messi’s name within the 10th minute, a regard to the No. 10 jerseys he wont to wear at the club. Many fans were wearing or carrying Messi’s jersey, and a number of other banners honored the playmaker. “Forever grateful to Messi,” read one among them. There were also some jeers against Messi, though, who was already in France with Paris Saint-Germain after Barcelona did not give him a replacement contract due to its financial struggles. Some fans preferred to chant “Barça, Barça” rather than his name.
“We all know what Messi represented. He was the foremost important player during this club’s history,” Barcelona’s Gerard Piqué said. “But there’s an end to everything and that we need to advance. there’s tons of quality during this team. we’ll be very competitive and i am convinced that we’ll be contending for all the titles until the top .” Club president Joan Laporta was among those targeted by some fans who protested in and out of doors the Camp Nou, with banners accusing him of not doing enough to stay its greatest player. Some also complained about former president Josep Bartomeu, blaming him for the club’s financial difficulties that led to Messi’s departure.
On the sector, Barcelona opened the scoring within the 19th with a header by Piqué, who also was loudly cheered by fans after agreeing to scale back his salary therefore the club could register other players in time for the opener. Martin Braithwaite added to the lead with goals in first-half stoppage time and within the 59th. He also assisted in Sergi Roberto’s final goal in second-half injury time. Memphis Depay, the club’s top offseason signing, helped found out two goals. Sociedad, coming off a fifth-place finish last season, pulled closer with a goal from Julen Lobete within the 82nd and with an outstanding place kick — which Messi would are pleased with — taken by Mikel Oyarzabal three minutes later.
The last time there have been fans at Camp Nou was on March 7, also during a match against Real Sociedad. Spanish health authorities allowed the league to restart with crowds of up to 40% of the venues’ capacity. Fans had mixed feelings. “On one side I feel very bad because Messi is gone. I had a really hard time with all this,” 23-year-old student Marta Gonzalez said. “But on the opposite side, I’m very happy to ascertain a replacement Barça and to be here.” Ángel Correa scored a goal in each half as Atlético Madrid opened its title defense with a 2-1 win at Celta Vigo, extending its unbeaten streak in Spanish league openers to 12 matches.
Correa, starting in attack in situ of Luis Suárez, opened the scoring with a coffee shot from outside the world within the 23rd. He added his second from inside the box up the 64th after Iago Aspas had equalized for the hosts by converting a 59th-minute penalty kick following a handball by Marcos Llorente. The benches were emptied in stoppage time after an altercation following a foul by Hugo Mallo on Suárez. Mallo and Atlético’s Mario Hermoso got red cards. The home loss kept Celta winless in its last six league openers, since beating Levante 2-1 in Valencia in 2015.
Atlético’s last loss in its first league game of the season came in 2009 — losing 3-0 at Málaga — before the arrival of coach Diego Simeone. “We can’t check out what happened last season,” Atlético goalkeeper Jan Oblak said. “We need to focus only on the subsequent match. it is the only thing that matters.” Suárez, the previous Barcelona striker who was key for Atlético in its title run last season, came into the match as a second-half substitute for Correa with the Uruguay striker still trying to regain his best form. The match played ahead of about 7,000 fans at the Balaídos Stadium marked the official debut with Atlético for Argentina midfielder Rodrigo de Paul.
Rayo Vallecano goalkeeper Luca Zidane, son of former France great Zinedine Zidane, was sent off within the 16th after fouling a Sevilla player inside the world, resulting in a penalty kick and an eventual 3-0 loss. Youssef En-Nesyri converted the penalty and new signing Erik Lamela later scored twice within the home victory for Sevilla, which came fourth last season.