Barcelona kickstarted their post-Lionel Messi era with a comfortable win over Real Sociedad at Camp Nou on Sunday. Ronald Koeman‘s boys won the game 4-2.

Veteran defender Gerard Pique opened the scoring for Barcelona in the 19th minute of the game. Martin Braithwaite then scored on either side of the half-time whistle, putting the game to bed. or so we thought.

Julen Cienfuegos pulled one back for Real Sociedad in the 82nd minute and Mikel Oyerzabal scored another in the 85th minute, raising hopes of a splendid comeback for Real Sociedad.

Finally, the game was put to bed by Sergi Roberto in the second-half injury time.

This was Barcelona’s first game in La Liga without Argentine legend Messi who recently secured a free transfer to French giants PSG.

The majority of fans loudly chanted Messi’s name in the 10th minute, a reference to the number 10 jersey he used to wear at the club. Many fans were wearing or carrying Messi’s jersey, and several banners honored the playmaker.

“Forever grateful to Messi,” read one of them.

Club president Joan Laporta was among those targeted by fans who protested in and outside the Camp Nou, with banners accusing him of not doing enough to keep its greatest player. Some also complained about former president Josep Bartomeu, blaming him for the club’s financial difficulties that led to Messi’s departure.