Published: Sun, September 17, 2017
Sport | By Scott Davis

Getafe 1 Barcelona 2: Paulinho snatches victory but Dembele suffers injury scare

Getafe 1 Barcelona 2: Paulinho snatches victory but Dembele suffers injury scare

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

Dembele had to be withdrawn in the first half of his side's dramatic 2-1 victory on Sunday (AEST), leaving the field after sustaining the problem while attempting a back-heel near the corner flag when the match was still goalless.

After Barca failed to properly clear a Getafe free-kick, Shibasaki was on hand to absolutely thunder a flawless volley past Marc-Andre Ter Stegen and into the top corner.

That was followed by the ball dropping in front of Shibasaki, who smacked a fine volley into the roof of Ter Stegen's net to become the first Japanese to score against Barca and Madrid in official matches.

In the 16th minute Getafe squandered a great opportunity to grab the lead after Molina failed to connect to Baku Shibasaki's deflected cross.

Signed for an initial €105 million ($156.6 million), ex-Borussia Dortmund winger Dembele had made his first Barca start against Juventus in the UEFA Champions League on Wednesday (AEST), having come on as a substitute at home to Espanyol last week, his first game in the club's colours.

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.

Paulinho came on as a second-half substitute and powered his way into the box before netting from a tight angle.

The visitors continued to dominate the possession approaching the final 15 minutes, but clear chances were few and far between as Getafe defended their own penalty box in impressive fashion.

Luis Enrique felt the need for change at the break, bringing on Denis Suarez for Andres Iniesta, and the substitution was crucial when the new man stroked a crisp finish into the top-left corner from insides the area on 62 minutes. 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.

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