Barcelona 4-2 Real Sociedad: Player Ratings

A Lionel Messi-less Barcelona started their La Liga campaign with a well-deserved 4-2 victory over Real Sociedad, even though they had to survive a late comeback horror.

Ronald Koeman’s men showed their hunger from the start and got their reward within 20 minutes. Memphis Depay, at its competition debut, took an assist to the opener with a beautifully whipped free kick into the box, which Gerard Pique linked to clinically to go past Alex Remiro.

La Blaugrana doubled their lead in the second minute of stoppage time, when Braithwaite stopped at the back post to emphatically go home from Frenkie de Jong’s deep post. And the Danish international added another fifteen minutes into the second period and hit the back of the net after Jordi Alba’s cross had been hit in his way by Remiro.

Braithwaite gets his second and Barcelona looks dominant! ??

Camp Nou’s new superstar? ?

– Premier Sports? (@PremierSportsTV) August 15, 2021

Real Sociedad looked livelier in the second half and eventually found a way through with eight minutes left in the game. Ander Barrenetxea’s brilliantly weighted ball through the Blaugrana defense was well met by Julen Lobete, who gave Neto no chance to keep a clean sheet.

Three minutes later, La Real gave the hosts a huge shock when Mikel Oyarzabal hit a perfect free kick in the top corner – reduced the score to 3-2 and set up a very nervous final.

Koeman’s side, however, remained calm and put the game to bed during the first minute with extra time. Substitute Sergi Roberto hit La Real on the counter and buried Braithwaite’s withdrawal from close range, sealing the points to start the post-Messi era in style.

Now let’s get to the players’ ratings …

Pique takes a pay cut to help his club, leads in his first goal of the season and then kisses the mark to celebrate! ?

A Barcelona legend ??

– Premier Sports? (@PremierSportsTV) August 15, 2021

Net (GK) – 6/10 – Forced a decent save from a long strike but got no chance with any of Real Sociedad’s goals.

Sergino Dest (RB) – 6/10 – Drove all the way, although his end product in dangerous areas was somewhat missing.Eric Garcia (CB) – 7/10 – Showed great speed and awareness to stifle resistance attacks, which covered for his older midfielder. Effective and impressive debut for the 20-year-old, who makes seven interventions.Gerard Pique (CB) – 8/10 – Experienced defense kept Pique close to Real Sociedad’s front line at all times. Finished well by leading his side in front in the first half. Jordi Alba (LB) – 8/10 – Typically enthusiastic with his offensive responsibility, with a high position to tie La Real back and deliver quality to the area.

Frenkie De Jong shone at Barca midfield / Quality Sport Images / Getty Images

Sergio Busquets (DM) – 6/10 – Allowed a fairly simple ride thanks to the intensity of those in front of him, but still swept up the midfield nicely and kept the side ticking at depth.Frenkie de Jong (CM) – 8/10 – Added a driving force and traction from the midfield and carried the side up the field with a fantastic impulse. Crucial to pairing things, the Dutchman kept a pass accuracy of 100% – made three important passes and took a great assist for his side.Pedri (CM) – 7/10 – We never know how the 18-year-old is on his feet. Yet another brilliant display. Avoiding in his movement, Pedri played with maturity once again, demonstrated by his spatial awareness and silky use of possession.

Martin Braithwaite and Memphis Depay were excellent against Real Sociedad / Soccrates Images / Getty Images

Antoine Griezmann (RW) – 7/10 – Floated around well and found space in some threatening areas. Excellent pace of work led to ten interventions for his side, although he lacked a killer touch in the final third.Memphis Depay (ST) – 8/10 – If Carlsberg debuted … Flamboyant, exciting, unpredictable, passionate, tireless, bold, integrated – you choose a word, Memphis was it. Made four important passes, including a brilliant assist for the man whose pay cut allowed his registration as a Barça player – yes, very poetic – and while he could not score a goal, he deserved a standing ovation when he left the pitch late. Martin Braithwaite (LW) – 9/10 – You can mock but the Dane will definitely have a role to play this season. Maintained the intensity of his side with a little workhorse-like pressure, got the assist for his side’s fourth and deservedly took a well-taken braces to get a talismanic appearance.

?????????????? !!

? @ Emerson_Royal22, @ SergiRoberto10? @sergino_dest, @ DeJongFrenkie21 # BarçaRealSociedad

FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) 15 August 2021

Sergi Roberto (CM) – 7/10 – Knocked in from a yard out to take the goal that settled some nerves.

Emerson (RB) – 4/10 – Lost their man in the build-up to Real Sociedad’s first, allowing them a way back to the game.

Ronald Araujo (CB) – N / A

Nico Gonzalez (DM) – N / A

Clement Lenglet (CB) – N / A

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