Iniesta bows out of Barca with a win

Andres Iniesta capped off a trophy-laden Barcelona career with a 1-0 win over Real Sociedad in his final game for the club in their last La Liga game of the 2017/18 season.

    Barcelona 1 Real Sociedad 0

  • Coutinho on target on 57
  • Iniesta subbed on 81

Match summary

It was a relaxed Barca performance with the title secured some time ago, and while Sociedad threatened with a couple of half-chances, Philippe Coutinho’s second-half scorcher settled this tie.

Full report

Real Sociedad started well with Adnan Januzaj racing down the right wing before crossing for Willian Jose who headed straight at Marc-Andre Ter Stegen.

Iniesta was lively and almost set up Luis Suarez with a ball from the right but Illarramendi shepherded the ball well out of play.

Ter Stegen then did well to deny Janujaz who shot from around 20 yards while Iniesta was just off target with an effort from just outside the area that skimmed the side netting.

Moya was forced into action as Iniesta chipped a ball to Ousmane Dembele, whose cross-come-shot was punched clear by the Sociedad stopper.

Barcelona continued to attack and while Suarez failed to make the most of a 17th minute free-kick that he smashed into the defensive wall, Ivan Rakitic was inches from handing Barca the lead having latched onto a lofted Dembele ball after Philippe Coutinho had broken forward well.

Suarez was unable to get any real contact to another good Dembele ball while Mikel Oyarzabal cut back a ball for Zurutuza having powered forward but the subsequent shot was placed wide of the goal.

Juanmi was then called up for offsides after rounding Ter Stegen and slotting home after the Barca keeper had come out to put pressure on the onrushing attacker for the last real action of the first half.

A Willian Jose free-kick at the start of the second period deflected over the Barca goal ahead of a subdued passage of play with the home side controlling possession.

But Ernesto Valverde’s side were ahead on 57 minutes through Coutinho who picked the ball up in midfield before creating space for a shot and smashing home from outside the box.

Lionel Messi came onto replace Coutinho with 67 minutes on the clock, ahead of another close effort, this time from Gerard Pique after Denis Suarez’s free-kick found his teammate who was stopped by Moya.

Denis Suarez and then his namesake where both unable to make the most of balls into good areas as the game wore on, as Messi failed to beat Moya after some superb interplay with Luis Suarez.

Then the moment everyone had been waiting for as Iniesta was substituted to a standing ovation from the crowd, on 81 minutes, departing the field for the last time for Barca, to be replaced by Alcacer. The Spaniard shook every player’s hand as well as the referees’ before departing the game.

Alcacer was quickly into the action but hit his shot high after being played in by Ivan Rakitic, with the match ending shortly after Sociedad substituted Zurutuza, also in his final appearance, with Prieto replacing him for the final few kicks of the ball.

Barcelona were presented with the La Liga trophy following a pyrotechnics display after the game to the delight of the home support.