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Late Paulinho goal keeps Barcelona flawless in Spain

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Barcelona star Dembele ruled out for up to four months

A miserable first half on Saturday saw Barca lose Ousmane Dembele to injury on his full LaLiga debut and fall behind courtesy of Gaku Shibasaki's spectacular strike for the hosts.

Barcelona will feel fortunate to leave with all three points after being nowhere near their best against an impressive Getafe outfit.

The Brazil global netted his first Barca goal with six minutes remaining as Ernesto Valverde's men recovered from a terrible first half to claim a fourth straight top-flight victory in 2017-18.

Now, as I write this, Paulinho has actually just scored a lovely goal, but it still can't come close to what Japanese worldwide Shibasaki did in the first half to give Getafe the lead.

Getafe had a wonderful chance to take the lead in the 17th minute when a deflected Shibasaki cross fell for Molina at the far post, but the striker turned just the wrong side of the post as Barcelona survived another unsafe moment.

"We have shown that we can come back", he said.

Signed in the summer transfer window for a club-record £96.8m to replace Neymar, who joined Paris St-Germain, Dembele was making his first league start for Barcelona.

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

It was the home side that took the lead in the 39th minute, however, when Shibasaki found the top corner with a stunning left-footed volley from the edge of the Barcelona box.

In first half stoppage time Guaita produced a good save to turn Lionel Messi's free kick away for a corner. 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.

Barcelona continued their fine start to the new La Liga season with a hard-fought win over Getafe.

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