Wearing shirts honoring victims of the recent attacks in Spain, Barcelona opened its Spanish league season with a comfortable 2-0 win over Real Betis on Sunday.
Players had the word “Barcelona” instead of their names on the backs of their shirts, and a minute’s silence was held before the game as the music of the Catalan cellist Pablo Casals played in the background.
Before the minute was up, the more than 55,000 fans at the stadium broke into a round of applause and began chanting “No tinc por” (I’m not afraid), a chant that has become a symbol of people’s reaction to attacks that killed 14 people and injured more than 120 in Barcelona and the nearby seaside resort of Cambrils.
Extra security was in effect in and around Camp Nou.
There was a minute’s silence before every Spanish league match this weekend.
Without Neymar and the injured Luis Suárez, Barcelona got off to a winning start in the league after consecutive losses to its rival Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup final.
Barcelona scored two goals three minutes apart near the end of the first half — an own goal by Betis defender Alin Tosca and a close-range shot by Sergi Roberto. Both goals came after plays started by Gerard Deulofeu, one of the players expected to try to replace Neymar after his world record transfer to Paris St.-Germain.
Lionel Messi looked lively but was not able to score his 350th goal in La Liga. He came close, though, being denied by the goal frame three times.