Paulinho strike secures late win for Barcelona
Liga, Coliseum Alfonso Pérez - Getafe CF 1 (Shibasaki, 39) Barcelona 2 (Denis Suarez, 62, Paulinho 84)
Paulinho scored the winner as Barcelona came from behind to claim a 2-1 win over Getafe, giving them a seven-point lead at the top of La Liga.
Ernesto Valverde stuck with the same side that had dismantled Juventus in the Champions League during the week, refusing the chance to rotate his squad. That appeared to have a detrimental effect on the Catalans, though, as Barca struggled for energy in the first half, with Gaku Shibasaki giving the hosts the lead with a sensational volley from the edge of the box.
Denis Suarez was introduced at the break and made an impact, scoring an impressive equaliser before another substitute, Paulinho netted what proved to be the winner for the visitors, maintaining Barcelona’s 100% start to the league season.
The win gave Barca a seven-point lead at the top of the table, with Real Madrid travelling to San Sebastian to face Real Sociedad on Sunday. This might not have been a quintessential Barcelona performance, but it did demonstrate their character as a team.
TALKING POINT - Might Paulinho actually offer Barcelona something different?
His signing was maligned like no other at Barcelona this summer. Indeed, Paulinho’s arrival at the Camp Nou was used to illustrate the problems the club was facing, but were his critics wide of the mark? His winner against Getafe demonstrated how he might offer something different to Barcelona, barging through the opposition defence to squeeze home a finish from a tight angle. He could give them another dimension.
MAN OF THE MATCH - Denis Suarez (Barcelona)
Barcelona were struggling for creativity and energy in the middle of the pitch when Denis was introduced at the half time break. It was a bold move from Valverde who took off Andres Iniesta to make the change, but it was ultimately vindicated, with Denis scoring the equaliser and providing something Barca had been missing in the opening 45 minutes.
Barcelona's Luis Suarez takes on Dakonam Djene of GetafeGetty Images
25’ DEMBELE INJURY? The young Frenchman has gone down with an injury and is now on the ground clutching his thigh. This could be an issue for Barcelona. Will he be coming off?
39’ GOAL! Getafe 1-0 Barcelona: What an incredible goal! That has to be a goal of the season contender and it has given Getafe the lead against Barcelona! Gaku takes the volley on the edge of the box and smashes a strike high into the top corner. Wow!
62’ GOAL! Getafe 1-1 Barcelona: There's the equaliser and that's a sensational finish from Denis! Roberto got to the byline and cut the pass back for the midfielder, who lashed home a finish into the top corner.
83’ OFF THE POST! That was inches away from being another goal for Getafe! Ndiaye's shot was deflected by Pique and wrong footed Ter Stegen, with the ball striking the base of the post.
84’ GOAL! Getafe 1-2 Barcelona: Barcelona have scored a late goal and that could be the winner! Paulinho breaks into the box after a pass from Messi, wrestles his way past two players and fires home from a tight angle.
Paulinho scored for Barcelona with his first shot on target for the club.