Paulinho grabs late Barcelona winner as Levante draw with Valencia

Paulinho grabs late Barcelona winner as Levante draw with Valencia

Well, as it happens, it was neither, with Getafe midfielder Gaku Shibasaki opening the scoring during this afternoon's La Liga clash with an absolute fucking wallop of a volley from 25-yard out.

Denis Suarez believes Barcelona's critics were wrong to doubt the squad's quality after they continued their ideal start to the new La Liga season with a dramatic 2-1 win at Getafe.

With time running out Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde introduced Paulinho in the 78th minute.

Entering this fixture Barcelona had taken a maximum nine points from the nine available and hadn't conceded a goal.

Dembele made his first start for Barca and Sergi Roberto replaced Nelson Semedo at right-back, in an otherwise-unchanged XI.

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Samuel Umtiti, meanwhile, powered a header at goal, but it was saved by Vicente Guaita.

Ter Stegen was also called into action in the ninth minute to gather a deflected strike from Faycal Fajr, before Gerard Pique picked up a booking for hauling Molina to the ground just outside the Barcelona box.

Messi nearly found a quick-fire equaliser, his free kick curling towards Guaita's top-left corner, but the goalkeeper managed to tip it over. Certainly not a vintage performance by his standards, but Messi was still key as Barca made it four wins out of four, providing the assist for Paulinho's goal.

Paulinho - just seven minutes after coming on - collected a Messi pass and showed strength to fend off two home defenders as he charged into the box before firing a fine finish into the far corner, ensuring his side's fine start to the campaign continued.

Paulinho came off the Barcelona bench in the 77th minute as the league leaders looked to hurt Getafe late on, but it was the home side that nearly scored 10 minutes from time, with Sergio Mora having a low shot deflected onto the post.