Champions Barca bid Iniesta farewell, beat Sociedad


La Liga champions, Barcelona, ended their campaign for the season with a 1-0 home win against Real Sociedad on Sunday as Nou Camp bid emotional farewell to departing captain Andres Iniesta.

The La Liga champions’ last game victory came through a sensational distance strike by Philippe Coutinho

Coutinho drifted inside from the left and held off two defenders outside the area before rattling the ball in off the far post with a shot that broke the deadlock in the 57th minute.

The league’s top scorer, Lionel Messi, started the game on the bench but replaced Coutinho in the 67th minute.

Iniesta, who was substituted in the 82nd, hugged most of his team mates as well as some Real Sociedad players and the referee as he left Nou Camp pitch for the last time as a Barca player.

Barca’s fans held up a mosaic before the game reading “Infinite Iniesta”.

They also displayed a banner saying “Thanks for so much” in tribute to a player who came through the club’s academy and spent 16 years pulling the strings in midfield.

Iniesta won nine La Liga titles, four Champions Leagues and six domestic Cups.

The fans continued to sing Iniesta’s name long after he had gone off the pitch.

The captain returned with his team mates after the final whistle to lift the club’s 25th Liga title and also showed off the King’s Cup trophy which they won in April, beating Sevilla 5-0 in the final.

Barca ended the season on 93 points, 14 more than second-placed Atletico Madrid and 17 above last year’s champions, Real Madrid.

The Ernesto Valverde’s side lost only one Liga match, last week’s 5-4 defeat at Levante. (Reuters/NAN)
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