That is all we have time for folks, thanks for joining us. Goodbye!
Like Real Madrid and Atletico Madrid, Barcelona open their campaign with a victory, and they can now try and draw a line under the Messi saga. Sociedad will be disappointed with some of their defending, but they will take confidence from their fightback in the second half. Barca face Athletic Bilbao next Saturday, while Sociedad will tackle Rayo Vallecano on Sunday.
It wasn’t straightforward, but without Messi, will things ever be as simple for Barcelona. They get the job done in their first competitive match since he joined Paris Saint-Germain, despite a big scare in the second half. Everything looked to be going to plan when Pique headed home in the 19th minute. Things got better when Braithwaite scored in first-half stoppage time with a powerful header of his own. When he added a second just before the hour mark, it looked to be all over. Sociedad managed to score two goals of their own through Lobete and Oyarzabal but just as the nerves started to show, Sergi Roberto wrapped up the victory with a fourth goal in stoppage time.
90′ + 5′ FULL-TIME – BARCELONA 4-2 REAL SOCIEDAD.
90′ + 3′ Barca look to be seeing the game out by keeping the ball, with Sociedad’s players now happy to surrender!
90′ + 1′ Braithwaite was already the man-of-the-match beforehand, but that gutsy run and cross seals the deal.
90′ + 1′ GAME OVER!!!! GOALLLLLLL – BARCA 4-2 SOCIEDAD! A superb counter-attack from the home side kills the game. Griezmann charged forward before playing in Braithwaite, who drilled his cross towards the back post for Sergi Roberto. He adjusted his feet in time to steer the ball home, and Sociedad’s dreams of a comeback are over!
90′ + 1′ Five minutes of stoppage time to come!
90′ Koeman is doing all he can to protect this lead, with Lenglet now on to try and control the midfield, with Depay making way.
87′ Where on earth has this come from? Sociedad looked down and out ten minutes ago, but they have found two goals from nowhere to give themselves a fighting chance! Game on now for the final five minutes.
85′ GOAAAALLLLL – BARCA 3-2 SOCIEDAD – Incredible scenes at the Camp Nou as Oyarzabal curls his free-kick into the top corner. The wall did not do its job, Neto had no chance, and we might be about to witness one of the best comebacks for some time!!!!
85′ Gonzalez is carded for a sloppy challenge near the edge of his own box.
84′ Free-kick for Sociedad in a dangerous position…
83′ Garcia’s night is done, with Araujo now given the job of defending for the final seven minutes.
83′ Koeman decides to ring the changes as Busquets makes way for Gonzalez.
83′ Barrenetxea claims the assist and his curved cross allowed Lobete to attack the ball at pace. Superb move from Sociedad!
82′ GOAAALLL – BARCA 3-1 SOCIEDAD – The visitors pull a goal back as Lobete latches onto a cross from Barrenetxea at the back post and fires the ball past Neto in goal. That will give them a huge lift, but time is running out for a comeback.
81′ Another change for Sociedad as Elustondo makes way for Pacheco.
80′ Depay is the 20th Dutchman to play for Barcelona in the Spanish top flight. Only Johan Cruyff managed to score on his debut, so the former Lyon man has 15 minutes to equal that record.
R. Le Normand
78′ Le Normand is the latest player to be shown a yellow card, following a poor challenge on Depay.
75′ We now have another cooling break, with both teams grabbing drinks!
73′ The tempo of the game may drop off now we have had a whole host of subs, but Depay is still out there, as is Griezmann. Both players need to step up for Barca this season, and they’ll be itching to grab their first goal of the campaign.
71′ Sergio Roberto also gets a run in midfield, with De Jong making way with 20 minutes remaining.
71′ Changes now for Barcelona as Dest makes way for Emerson.
66′ Portu also makes way after a tough night at the office, and he is replaced by Lobete.
66′ Zaldua’s night is over, with Gorosabel on in his place.
65′ SAVE!!! Neto has been a passenger for the majority of this match, but he keeps his clean sheet intact after diving to his left to stop Merino’s long-range shot.
64′ Sociedad’s bench is looking busy, but it should be too little too late after Braithwaite’s second goal.
63′ That should be game set and match for Barcelona, and it is safe to say they have deserved it. There’s still time for more goals, but Koeman’s team have been a class above their opponents.
62′ Munoz is now shown a yellow card, and the referee has no choice after a clumsy challenge on Pedri.
61′ Elustondo is carded for a needless foul.
59′ GOAAAALLLL!! BARCA 3-0 SOCIEDAD – Braithwaite gets his second of the night as he thumps the ball down the middle of the goal. Depay started the move when he played in Alba, only for his cross to be tipped away by Remiro. However, his punch fell straight to Braithwaite, who smashed the ball home.
57′ Busquets is booked after a blatant pull on Barrenetxea.
53′ Unlike the first half, the second half has started slowly, and we are still waiting for it to burst into life. For that to happen, Sociedad need to take a few risks; Barca will not be throwing anything away with a two-goal advantage.
51′ Sociedad are still using a 4-2-3-1 formation, but Portu remains isolated as a lone striker. Pique and Garcia have not had much to do so far, but the work of Busquets is making their life much easier.
49′ Barcelona waste a glorious chance to make it three-nil, with Alba’s relaxed approach eventually costing him dear. The Barca left-back raced into the box and beat the offside trap, but despite being one-on-one with Remiro, he fires wide.
47′ We are back underway!
46′ David Silva also makes way, with Bautista on in his place.
46′ Januzaj’s night is over as he is replaced by Barrenetxea.
Januzaj has been a passenger so far, while David Silva needs to get on the ball more if he wants to influence this game. Sociedad switched to a 4-2-3-1 formation towards the end of the first half, and they may need to make some changes at the break in order to improve their fortunes.
Goals from Pique and Braithwaite hand Barcelona a two-goal advantage at the break. Koeman’s side have been in control from the outset, and it was a polished performance without their former superstar. Sociedad managed to make life tough for Barcelona for ten minutes or so, but two classy finishes mean that the visitors have it all to do in the second half.
45′ + 2′ HALF-TIME – BARCELONA 2-0 REAL SOCIEDAD.
45′ + 2′ Great moment for De Jong as his cross caused carnage at the back for Sociedad, and that will help his confidence ahead of a big season.
45′ + 2′ GOAAALLLL!! BARCA 2-0 SOCIEDAD – Braithwaite heads home with what should be the last kick of the first half, and what a time to score! De Jong picked up possession in midfield, ran towards the box and floated his cross towards Braithwaite. The Denmark international charged onto the delivery and headed home!
45′ Two minutes of stoppage time to come at the end of the first half.
44′ Nothing comes of it, though, Sociedad clear at the first attempt, and it remains 1-0, with Pique’s goal the difference.
44′ Barcelona win a free-kick in a dangerous position, right on the edge of the Sociedad box after David Silva handled the ball.
42′ The omens aren’t good for the visitors, though, with Barcelona enjoyed a strong record over them. Real Sociedad have lost 64 games away from home versus Barcelona in LaLiga, more than versus any other opponent as the visiting side.
40′ Into the closing stages of the first half and Sociedad are yet to force a save out of Neto. They have managed to stop Barcelona’s momentum, but they need to do more with the ball themselves.
37′ No surprise to see Zubimendi booked for that challenge; thankfully, Pedri is fit to continue.
35′ There’s another injury to worry about now, as Pedri is clipped from behind by Zubimendi. He has asked for treatment on his right ankle.
33′ The game is back underway, and Depay is willing to continue, so some good news for those worried Barcelona fans in the stands.
31′ Worryingly for Barca, Depay is limping after a late challenge. The medical staff will try to get to work during this short interval, but we will keep an eye on it!
30′ The game comes to a halt for a drinks break as both sets of players also try and take some instructions from their respective coaches.
27′ That save from Remiro seems to have given Sociedad a lift, and they are now starting to get more space in Barcelona’s half.
24′ SAVE!!! Remiro comes to Sociedad’s rescue as he gets in the way of a Depay shot. Braithwaite picked out his teammate, who stabbed the ball towards goal, but Remiro took one for the team and threw his body in the way. It remains 1-0.
21′ Now, what can Sociedad do? They are losing the battle in midfield and look to be struggling to keep Griezmann and Depay quiet.
19′ Life without Messi will take some getting used to, but Depay will be able to ease the pain with crosses like that. Effortless from the Dutchman!
19′ GOAAALLLL – BARCA 1-0 SOCIEDAD – Depay makes it look so easy as he floats his cross into the path of an onrushing Pique. The defender stayed onside and did the rest, smashing his header into the back of an empty net. Superb goal and just what Barcelona needed!
19′ Barcelona win a free-kick after Pedri is fouled, but it is too far out for a shot. Depay will look to pick out a teammate with a cross!
16′ The visitors have managed to stop the flow of attacks from Barcelona, but they are yet to trouble Neto in goal, but there is still plenty of time for that.
14′ Sociedad are living dangerously at the moment and need to try and get a foothold in the game.
13′ OFF THE BAR!!! Griezmann goes close to scoring for a second time tonight as he hits the crossbar with a header. The striker, playing against his former club, found space at the near post but failed to keep his effort under the frame of the goal.
12′ Another corner to come for the home side…
10′ WIDE!!! Barca go close to opening the scoring after taking a short corner. Depay’s played the ball quickly to Alba, who then picked out Griezmann in the penalty area. The forward tried to find the bottom corner on the half-volley, only to fire wide!
8′ Pedri’s never-ending campaign continues tonight, and the Spain international may be wondering when his next day off will be. He has been busy again inside the first few minutes, trying to bring Depay into the game through the middle of the park.
5′ So far, so good from the home side. Koeman’s team look confident in possession, but Sociedad are not giving them too much space in midfield
3′ Now Griezmann tries his luck from the edge of the box, but the Frenchman can only blaze his ball over the crossbar. They mean business, at least!
2′ CHANCE!!! A lively start from the home side as Braithwaite races onto a throughball, but he can only blast his shot straight at Remiro.
1′ We are underway at the Camp Nou!
The two teams are on the field of play, and we are moments away from kick-off.
Barca are unbeaten in their previous ten league matches against Sociedad, last losing at Reale Arena in April 2016.
Depay will lead the line for Barca in his first competitive start since his summer move, while it will be Griezmann and Braithwaite’s job to provide him with crosses from wide positions. Both of Sociedad’s new signings, Diego Rico and Mathew Ryan, are not even named on the bench, meaning there’s a familiar look to Alguacil’s team.
SUBS: Benat Turrientes, Andoni Gorosabel, Ander Guevara, Julen Lobete, Asier Illarramendi, Roberto Navarro, Jon Bautista, Gaizka Ayesa, Jon Pacheco Dozagarat, Ander Barrenetxea.
REAL SOCIEDAD STARTING XI (4-4-2): Alex Remiro; Joseba Zaldua, Artiz Elustondo, Robin Le Normand, Aihen Munoz; Portu, Martin Zubimendi, Mikel Merino, Adnan Januzaj; David Silva, Mikel Oyarzabal.
SUBS: Riqui Puig, Pablo Gaviria, Rey Manaj, Alejandro Balde, Arnau Tenas, Emerson, Sergi Roberto, Inaki Pena, Ronald Araujo, Nicolas Gonzalez, Yusuf Demir, Clement Lenglet.
BARCELONA STARTING XI (4-3-3): Neto; Sergino Dest, Eric Garcia, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba; Frenkie de Jong, Sergio Busquets, Pedri; Antoine Griezmann, Memphis Depay, Martin Braithwaite.
After a turbulent few weeks, Barcelona will be just desperate to focus on matters on the pitch and tonight’s battle will be far from straightforward. Imanol Alguacil’s outfit picked up 17 wins last season, and they will hope to build on that after retaining their best talent throughout the summer.
While the dust may have settled on Messi’s exit from Barcelona, it will still be weird to see the Spanish giants play without him. Koeman’s side have relied on him heavily in recent years, and the Dutchman will need the rest of his squad to step up and deliver the goods.
Good evening and welcome to our coverage of the La Liga meeting between Barcelona and Real Sociedad. Ronald Koeman’s side finished third last season, with Sociedad just two places behind them. However, as we all know, they no longer have Lionel Messi in their ranks, and they will look to start a new chapter with three points.