Standing Ovation And Coutinho Wonder Goal Make For Fitting Andres Iniesta Farewell
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Barcelona put the finishing touches on its 2017-18 La Liga title with a 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad on Sunday. Philippe Coutinho scored the lone goal with a wonder strike in the 57th minute. The match also brought Andres Iniesta’s Barca career to a close. The 34-year-old started and played for 82 minutes before being substituted to a standing ovation inside the Camp Nou.
After a shock defeat to Levante last weekend brought Barca’s invincibles quest to a dramatic close, rare starts were handed to Yerry Mina and Nelson Semedo while Lionel Messi took a place on the bench.
Sitting just two goals shy of the century mark in La Liga, Luis Suarez, Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele were charged with leading the line against 11th-placed Sociedad.
The Blaugrana were made to wait until the second half to find the breakthrough, but Coutinho’s sixth league goal in five games was a belter.
— beIN SPORTS Español (@ESbeINSPORTS) May 20, 2018
Across all competitions (including his time with Liverpool), the Brazilian ended up scoring 22 goals in 42 games this season — by far his best season as a professional. You can’t say Liverpool miss him, but he’s going to be some player for Barca.
Iniesta then made his exit with only eight minutes remaining, finishing his Barcelona career with 674 appearances, nine La Liga titles, six Copa del Reys, four UCL triumphs and three FIFA Club World Cups.
— beIN SPORTS USA (@beINSPORTSUSA) May 20, 2018
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) May 20, 2018
Iniesta has been linked heavily with a move to either the Chinese Super League or the A-League, but recent rumors have him going to Manchester City as a player-coach.
Regardless, we’ll get to watch Iniesta feature heavily for Spain this summer at the World Cup, where the midfielder will likely make his final international appearances.