(Jordi Blanco) – Barcelona started the season of change, the difficult post-Messi transition, enjoying a reliable victory over Real Sociedad, which they defeated 4-2 on a night when the shadow of the Argentine star flew much less than he would have imagined for the Camp Nou.
He enjoyed football and even suffering at the last minute, when two consecutive goals from Lobete and Oyarzabal turned a comfortable win into a long-suffering victory … Until Sergi Roberto’s sentence appeared in the last breath. If in another time the protest of the public had not been ruled out, on the contrary, this time their response was to redouble their spirits. He knows how many fans his support team needs after what happened in recent weeks … And he was there to lend a hand.
Some of the fans chanted Messi’s name at 10 minutes into the first and second half … and another part of the public responded with whistles, suggesting that if the 10th is and will be eternal in the club’s history , Barça, by itself, is above him. And it is that the return of the fans to the Barcelona stadium denied that the club is in depression. On the contrary, enthusiasm was observed in the field and in the stands to give a push to this new Barça.
Without Leo, without the leader on whom Barca football has been tilted in recent years, the team, the collective, took a step forward, determined to demonstrate its ability and convinced a fan, the 20,384 fans who gathered in the stadium, that you can look to the future with optimism. To the immediate future and even to a present that surprised many incredulous regarding the possibilities of the Koeman squad.
The first game with the public in the stands after 17 months of silence was a real litmus test to gauge the situation of this Barcelona that was supposed to collapse at all levels due to the surprising exit of 10 and that discovered a much more optimistic reality.
He began to see the shared hugs of all the headlines and continued to appreciate an unimaginable group image, in which each and every one of the players did their part, taking that step forward claimed by Koeman to show that without 10 there is also Barça . It is risky to bet how far this team can go, but it is a certainty that it has a lot to offer.
And that without Ansu Fati, Dembélé or Agüero, casualties in attack that provoked Koeman’s claim to ask, if possible, for the signing of another striker … And to which Braithwaite responded with two goals. Double for the Danish to claim victory in a match in which Memphis’s presentation was magnificent and the figure of Piqué capitalized. Cheered and turned into a spiritual leader after agreeing with the board on a salary cut necessary to allow the registration of signings, the prize was double: the love of the fans and the 1-0 that opened the victory.
Quick in the combination, vertical and patient, and, above all, convinced of himself, Barcelona responded to the exam with a magnificent staging and with a great game, which opened an unattainable header from Piqué to the center with a thread, and superb, from Memphis and sentenced a Braithwaite double, put on the market and that so much increased its price as it should have made Koeman doubt: Is it worth changing it for another striker if the one who arrives is not an indisputable crack?
Heading first, touching the rest and finishing off an excellent service from De Jong, and then attentive to Remiro’s rejection after a cross from Jordi Alba, a goal of 9 pure, Braithwaite did not out of tune, on the contrary, on an unthinkably happy night for Barcelona , who discovered in Memphis a superb signing, in Èric García a player with a great future and, among all, a Griezmann who personally enjoyed an indisputable release.
The uproar lasted 82 minutes and the remaining 13, counting the extension, were of suffering with a flavor of the same illusion. Strange as it may seem. A Barrenetxea center finished off excellently by Julen Lobete placed the 3-1 and immediately afterwards a foul thrown with mastery by Oyarzabal meant that unthinkable, and unfair, 3-2 that led the game to an end that was supposed to be suffering …
Until Braithwaite, he gave a magnificent center to Sergi Roberto so that the canterano sentenced the happy night.