Andres Iniesta’s final Barcelona appearance ended in victory on an emotional evening at the Nou Camp.
LaLiga champions Barca, who lost their unbeaten record in a 5-4 loss at Levante last week, responded with a 28th win of the season, defeating Real Sociedad 1-0.
Former Liverpool forward Philippe Coutinho, scorer of a hat-trick a week ago, netted the only goal on a night which belonged to Iniesta, who bade a tearful farewell.
Philippe Coutinho. A strong performance capped with an exquisite goal in the 53rd minute to ensure his departing teammate got the winning send-off his glittering career deserved.
As special as Coutinho’s goal was, it is impossible to look beyond Iniesta. The moment his number eight was shown and he was substituted was met with raucous appreciation from the Barcelona faithful and his team-mates. That followed a mosaic in tribute to the midfielder.
He only signed a “contract for life” last October, but now Iniesta leaves a legend after 669 games, nine LaLiga titles, six Copa del Rey winners medals and four Champions League wins.
Barcelona: Marc-Andre ter Stegen 6, Yerry Mina 6, Gerard Pique 6, Jordi Alba 6, Nelson Semedo 7, Andres Iniesta 7, Sergio Busquets 6, Ivan Rakitic 7, Luis Suarez 6, Philippe Coutinho 8, Ousmane Dembele 7. Substitutes: Denis Suarez (for Dembele, 53 minutes) 6, Lionel Messi (for Coutinho, 67) 6, Paco Alcacer (for Iniesta, 81) 6.
Real Sociedad: Miguel Angel Moya 6, Raul Navas 6, Diego Llorente 7, Alberto de la Bella 5, Aritz Elustondo 6, Juanmi 5, David Zurutuza 7, Asier Illarramendi 6, Willian Jose 6, Mikel Oyarzabal 5, Adnan Januzaj 6. Substitutes: Sergio Canales (for Januzaj 63) 5, Alvaro Odriozola (for Elustondo, 71) 5, Xabi Prieto (for Zurutuza, 89) 5.