The life without Messi for Barcelona has begun and so far it looks fine for a start. Last weekend, Ronald Koeman’s men showed how Messi’s absence for the first time in thirteen years in the main squad did not affect much, at least for now, though the Dutch boss himself said that he would still prefer to have Messi in it.
Blaugrana smashed Real Sociedad 4-2 on matchday one La Liga 2021/22. They took the lead through Gerrard Pique’s header taking advantage of Memphis Depay’s free kick. Then Martin Braithwaite doubled their lead with another header. After the interval, the Danish international scored his brace. Although Sociedad managed to net a lifeline through Julen Lobete and Mikel Oyarzabal’s free kick, Barcelona could still score another one. Sergi Roberto sealed their win as he tucked away into the empty net. The Catalan side seems to be ready to forget the Argentine legend. Their contenders, Real Madrid and the reigning Champions, Atletico Madrid, also picked up a win against Alaves and Celta Vigo respectively on the road.
Barcelona vs Real Sociedad 4-2
Goals: Gerard Pique (19), Martin Braithwaite (45,51), Sergi Roberto (91); Julen Lobete (82), Mikel Oyarzabal (85)
Barcelona: Neto – Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Sergino Dest (Emerson Royal 71), Eric Garcia (Ronald Araujo 83) – Frankie de Jong (Sergi Roberto 71), Sergio Busquets (Nico Gonzalez 83), Pedri – Martin Braithwaite, Memphis Depay (Clement Lenglet 90), Antoine Griezmann
Real Sociedad: Remiro – Norman, Munoz, Aritz Elustondo (Jon Pacheco 81), Joseba Zaldua (Andoni Gorosabel 66) – Mikel Merino, Zubimendi, David Silva (Jon Bautista 46), Adnan Januzaj (Ander Barrenextea 46), Mikel Oyarzabal – Portu (Julen Lobete 66)
Meanwhile, in the Premier League, the new Spurs boss, Nuno Santo, begins his reign in style by securing an important win over the defending Champions Manchester City. The Portuguese boss seems to be able to rekindle his victory over Guardiola in both fixtures two seasons ago while he was still at the helm of Wolverhampton. Now with slightly better squad than his previous team, Santo could prove that they could be a contender in the Champions League zone on the top four as they managed to thump The Citizens without their skipper, Harry Kane. The South Korean forward Son Heung Min scored the only goal of the game through a long range strike to the far side of the net.
Tottenham vs Manchester City 1-0
Goals: Son Heung Min (55)
Tottenham: Hugo Lloris – Davison Sanchez, Eric Dier, Reguilon, Tanganga (Matt Doherty 83) – Delle Alli, Skipp, Pierre Hojberg (Cristian Romero 90) – Lucas Moura, Son Heung-Min, Steven Bergwijn (Lo Celso 77)
Manchester City: Ederson - Joao Cancelo, Nathan Ake, Dias, Mendy (Zinchenko 79) – Fernandinho, Jack Grealish, Ilkay Gundogan – Ferran Torres, Sterling (Gabi Jesus 70), Riyad Mahrez (De Bruyne 79)