2017-2018 Spanish Primera División
  • Gaku Shibasaki (39')
  • Denis Suárez (62')
  • Paulinho (84')

Paulinho rescues Barcelona with late winner against Getafe

Barcelona extended their 100 percent start in La Liga as substitute Paulinho's late strike secured a 2-1 come-from-behind victory at Getafe.

Big-money signing Ousmane Dembele was forced off on his first league start for Barca with an apparent hamstring problem and Getafe took a deserved lead in the 39th minute thanks to a superb Gaku Shibasaki volley.

Barca fought back after the break with goals from two substitutes, Denis Suarez equalising in the 62nd minute and Paulinho, whose summer switch to the Nou Camp from China raised plenty of eyebrows, firing in with six minutes to go to open his account for the Catalan club.

Certainly it was not the best performance from Ernesto Valverde's side, but the league leaders got the job done in the end to make it four wins out of four.

Getafe made an impressive start to the contest, with Jorge Molina having a shot saved by Marc-Andre ter Stegen in the opening seconds.

The Azulones then launched a swift attack when Ivan Rakitic lost the ball around the quarter-hour mark which ended with Shibasaki's cross going via a deflection off Gerard Pique -- possibly his arm -- to the back post, where Molina was just unable to finish.

There were then further concerns for Barca as Dembele picked up what appeared to be a hamstring injury while stretching for the ball.

He limped off in the 29th minute, being replaced by Gerard Deulofeu. Two minutes later the visitors had their first real attempt on goal, with the unmarked Samuel Umtiti unable to make the most of a good opportunity as he sent a header straight to Getafe goalkeeper Vicente Guaita from near the penalty spot.

Rather than Barca continuing to apply pressure, they then found themselves behind as Shibasaki produced a wonder-strike from just outside the area, lashing a shot into the corner having been teed up by Markel Bergara.

Faycal Fajr had a chance to extend the lead only to blast into the stands, before Lionel Messi brought a brilliant save out of Guaita with a curling free kick.

Valverde brought on Suarez at the break for Andres Iniesta and the move swiftly paid off, with the substitute, having received the ball from Sergi Roberto's cut-back, taking one touch to stop it before sweeping it into the net to bring things level.

Getafe did not cave after that setback, with Alvaro Jimenez having a shot saved and Mauro Arambarri's effort clipping the outside of Ter Stegen's post after taking a deflection.

But they ended up empty-handed after Paulinho registered his first Barcelona goal in some style, collecting Messi's pass, shrugging off Djene as he burst into the box and lashing the ball past Guaita.

Messi nearly added a third after that but his shot was deflected wide.

Spanish Primera División Standings

1 Barcelona 21 +25 43
2 Real Madrid 20 +25 43
3 Sevilla FC 21 +7 38
4 Atletico Madrid 20 +8 35
5 Valencia 21 +3 34
6 Getafe 20 +9 33
7 Villarreal 21 +7 31
8 Athletic Bilbao 21 +7 31
9 Real Sociedad 20 +5 31
10 Osasuna 21 +3 28
11 Real Betis 20 -3 27
12 Granada 21 -3 27
13 Levante 21 -6 26
14 Alavés 21 -9 23
15 Real Valladolid 20 -6 22
16 Eibar 20 -9 22
17 Mallorca 20 -12 18
18 Celta Vigo 20 -13 16
19 Espanyol 21 -21 15
20 Leganes 20 -17 14