La Liga: Paulinho's late winner helps Barcelona beat Getafe; Ousmane Dembele goes off injured

Madrid: Paulinho scored his first Barcelona goal six minutes from time as the Catalan giants came from a goal down to win 2-1 at Getafe on Saturday and open up a seven-point lead over Real Madrid.

Barcelona were dealt a double blow before half-time as record signing Ousmane Dembele limped off with a hamstring injury before Gaku Shibasaki's sensational volley put Getafe in front.

Soccer Football - Santander La Liga - Getafe CF vs FC Barcelona - Coliseum Alfonso Perez, Getafe, Spain - September 16, 2017 Barcelona's Paulinho celebrates scoring their second goal with Luis Suarez and teammates REUTERS/Paul Hanna - RC1EB4278E90

Barcelona's Paulinho celebrates scoring their second goal with Luis Suarez and teammates. Reuters

However, Barcelona responded thanks to their substitutes as both Denis Suarez and Paulinho came from the bench to turn the game around.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde made just one change from the side that swept aside Italian champions Juventus 3-0 on Tuesday with Sergi Roberto replacing Nelson Semedo at right-back.

Yet, rather than building on the momentum of four straight wins, Barcelona looked sluggish as Getafe enjoyed the better of the early stages.

The hosts should have gone in front when Gerard Pique nearly turned Shibasaki's cross into his own net and Jorge Molina somehow only fired into the side-netting at the far post.

Samuel Umtiti headed Barcelona's best chance of the half straight at Vicente Guaita from Andres Iniesta's cross.

However, the visitors' flow was further disrupted when Dembele limped off with a reported hamstring injury that could see him sidelined for the coming weeks.

Barcelona's had barely got 11 players back on the field as Gerard Deulofeu replaced the Frenchman before they fell behind.

Roberto's headed clearance fell invitingly for Shibasaki to thunder an unstoppable dipping volley beyond Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Barcelona nearly responded before half-time as only a stunning finger-tip save from Guaita turned Lionel Messi's dipping free-kick behind.

Valverde was forced into another change at the start of the second period as Denis Suarez replaced Iniesta.

And it was the substitute who inspired Barcelona's revival as he collected Roberto's cut-back from the right wing before bending the ball high past Guaita into the top corner.

With Messi well-marshalled and Luis Suarez way off form for most of the second period, Getafe had chances to grab a winner themselves.

Ter Stegen was called into action twice in quick succession to save from Alvaro Jimenez and Mauro Arambarri.

However, the hosts were hit with a sucker punch when Paulinho burst onto Messi's through ball and smashed across the despairing Guaita into the far corner.


Published Date: Sep 16, 2017 10:55 pm | Updated Date: Sep 16, 2017 10:55 pm


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