Paulinho goal pro­pels per­fect start

Imperial Valley Press - - SPORTS -

MADRID (AP) — Paulinho scored his first goal for Barcelona late in the sec­ond half of a 2-1 win over Getafe, up­hold­ing the club’s per­fect start to the Span­ish league on Satur­day.

Barcelona’s fourth straight win opened a three-point lead over Real So­ciedad, the only other team which en­tered the week­end with a per­fect record. Real So­ciedad hosts de­fend­ing cham­pion Real Madrid on Sun­day.

Paulinho net­ted the win­ner after fight­ing off a de­fender inside the area and fir­ing a right-footed cross shot into the far cor­ner.

“I’m very happy to have scored the win­ning goal, it was very spe­cial,” Paulinho said. “It was a dif­fi­cult match and we got the three points, which was the most im­por­tant thing.”

A for­mer Tot­ten­ham player who was play­ing in China last sea­son, Paulinho was one of the few play­ers signed by Barcelona in the off­sea­son. The club paid 40 mil­lion eu­ros to at­tract the Brazil mid­fielder and was crit­i­cized by many for spend­ing so much on him.

Getafe, which has won only one of its four games, led through Ja­panese mid­fielder Gaku Shibasaki just be­fore half­time.

De­nis Suarez equal­ized in the sec­ond half.

“We had the game un­der con­trol,” Getafe coach Jose Bordalas said. “The play­ers are dis­ap­pointed. We put in a great ef­fort. It doesn’t seem like it was a fair re­sult. We were un­lucky.”

Barcelona won the match but lost Ous­mane Dem­bele, its big­gest off­sea­son sign­ing, mid­way through the first half be­cause of an ap­par­ent mus­cle in­jury.

The vic­tory gave Barcelona a seven-point lead over de­fend­ing cham­pion Madrid.

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