Barca Beats Sociedad in 1st Match Since Messi Exit

Martin Braithwaite of FC Barcelona celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the La Liga Santander match between FC Barcelona and Real Sociedad at Camp Nou on August 15, 2021 in Barcelona, Spain.

Barcelona didn't miss Lionel Messi in its first match of the 2021-22 La Liga season, earning a 4-2 win over Real Sociedad.

Martin Braithwaite scored two goals for the home team at Camp Nou on Sunday, matching his scoring total for all of last season. 

The forward then helped close things out with an assist to Sergi Roberto in extra time, sealing the win after Real Sociedad created drama with two late goals. IMG-20210815-212556-631

Even with some nervy moments in the closing minutes, it was a well-deserved victory for the Spanish giants.

The match was a start of a new era for Barcelona without Messi, who spent 17 years with the club while winning four Champions League trophies and 10 league titles. 

The club was unable to keep him this summer due to financial restrictions, and he signed with Paris Saint-Germain on a free transfer last week.

Manager Ronald Koeman is looking to keep the club's same level of success without the superstar, and the first competitive match represented a good start.

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