New beginning pleases Koeman

16 August 2021 19:19:52 GMTPlus11
Ronald Koeman was pleased to see his Barcelona side impress.

Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman was delighted with his team's fast start to the post-Lionel Messi era as they beat Real Sociedad 4-2 in La Liga on Sunday.

Barca, who finished third in the table last season, are 8/1 to win the Spanish title with Real Madrid 8/11 and defending champions Atletico Madrid 11/4.

Barca in the first half hour was the best for me from the last few years.

Ronald Koeman

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The two Madrid clubs and Sevilla also won their opening fixtures of the 2021-22 campaign, so Koeman was relieved to see his side blast out of the blocks in their first competitive game since record goalscorer Messi completed his move to Paris Saint-Germain.

Long-serving centre-back Gerard Pique opened the scoring in the 19th minute, before a brace from Denmark international forward Martin Braithwaite put Barca 3-0 up inside an hour at the Nou Camp.

They had some nervy moments asSociedad pulled it back to 3-2 in the final ten minutes, before an injury-time goal from Sergi Roberto secured the three points.

Bilbao next up for Barca

Barca resume their campaign with a trip to Athletic Bilbao next Saturday. They won 13 of their 19 away matches in La Liga last season, including January's 3-2 victory in Bilbao, where Messi scored twice.

Speaking to Mundo Deportivo after the win, Koeman said: "It is always important to start La Liga with a win, especially when you are at home and with what has happened lately.

"In the first half hour we were fantastic with the ball and also in the recovery of the ball. Then they made it a bit difficult for us, but we ended up winning. Barca in the first half hour was the best for me from the last few years. This is the way to go."

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