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Iniesta Given Winning Sendoff By Barcelona

Andres Iniesta bowed out of Barcelona with a win as Philippe Coutinho’s golazo sealed a 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad on Sunday.

Iniesta’s final appearance for Barca was initially marred by Raul Navas dodging a red card for a lunge on Ousmane Dembele, but the midfielder was nonetheless able to walk off Camp Nou for the last time as a winner thanks to Coutinho, whose wonder strike promised a bright future for the Catalans.

The veteran started alongside usual suspects Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic in the middle of the park, but Lionel Messi was once more rested for Dembele.

La Real, meanwhile, were bidding farewell themselves as one-club man Xabi Prieto was preparing to retire and Sergio Canales had agreed a pre-contract with Real Betis.

Marc-Andre ter Stegen was called into action early on with two saves to keep out Willian Jose and Adnan Januzaj, before Iniesta fizzed a shot inches wide and Rakitic sent a free header off-target from a corner.

The first half didn’t end without controversy, however, as Nelson Semedo was seemingly tripped by David Zurutuza in the box yet didn’t win a penalty, while Navas somehow got away with a booking after he went studs-up into Dembele’s ankle.

With little in the way of inspiration incoming, it was left to Coutinho to give a glimpse into life post-Iniesta, the Brazilian unleashing a piledriver in off the post from 20 yards out.

Messi was soon thrown on for the goalscorer, and the No 10 made an instant impact, splitting La Real’s defence with a through ball to Suarez, but the striker could only scuff his finish wide of the far post.

As the clock struck 82, the moment came for Iniesta to walk off Camp Nou one last time as he wiped the tears away to mark the end of a glorious chapter in the Blaugrana’s history.

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