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BARCELONA BATTLE TO MAINTAIN PERFECT LA LIGA START IN 2-1 WIN AT GETAFE

Barcelona had to dig deep to maintain their perfect start to the 2017-18 La Liga season on Saturday, beating Getafe 2-1 on the road.

Getafe dominated the first half and deservedly took the lead through a wonder goal from Gaku Shibasaki. The Blaugrana improved after the break, however, and tied things up through Denis Suarez, while another substitute, Paulinho, found a late winner.

Barcelona entered the contest with a perfect record, but Getafe took the fight right to them early on, playing positive, attacking football. The first chance fell to the hosts, as Jorge Molina fired a tame shot at Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Gerard Pique ran into an early booking before Shibasaki and Molina nearly combined for what would have been a sure goal had the latter reached the ball.

The Blaugrana were far from comfortable and suffered an additional blow before the half-hour mark, as summer signing Ousmane Dembele had to be replaced due to injury. So, on come Gerard Deolefue.

Chances were few in the first half, but Getafe had the better looks and took a deserved lead shortly before half-time. Shibasaki unleashed a stunning shot after a clever chest pass from Markel Bergara, and Ter Stegen had no chance.

Faycal Fajr nearly doubled the advantage shortly after, firing high, and Lionel Messi had a late chance to tie things up with a free-kick, but his effort was parried by Vicente Guaita.

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde made a bold move at half-time, taking off Andres Iniesta in favour of Suarez. The tactical tweak seemed to have its desired effect, as the Catalans played at a higher pace in the second half, looking much more threatening.

Sergi Roberto drew a good save from Guaita before Suarez pulled his side level with a fine finish.

Barcelona pushed for a winner, but Getafe remained dangerous on the counter and had their chances. Alvaro Jimenez drew a save from Ter Stegen, and Mauro Arambarri went close, hitting the post.

But the goal fell on the other side of the pitch, as substitute Paulinho got his first in a Barcelona shirt. The Brazilian produced a nice finish after a great run down the centre of the box

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