It’s going to take more than one goal against Getafe but Paulinho has at least started to prove his critics wrong by scoring the match-winning goal on Saturday afternoon.
It was an afternoon that just did not go to plan at all for Barcelona, Ousmane Dembele going off injured before Getafe went in front with an absolute screamer.
Suddenly Barca’s 100% start to the season was in some doubt and credit to Ernesto Valverde for opting to change things with the club staring down the barrel of a first defeat.
On came Denis Suarez at half-time for Andres Iniesta, and just after the hour mark Barca were level, the substitute netting in some style, with a fine strike.
However, Barcelona needed more and Valverde obliged sending on Paulinho for Ivan Rakitic, and he smashed home the winner with a little over five minutes to go.
It was a brilliant moment from the Brazilian whose signing was criticised by many, as being too old, too expensive and simply not good enough.
He was also subsequently ridiculed during his unveiling when his attempt at a few kick ups, shall we say, didn’t quite go to plan.
But Paulinho didn’t seem surprised at all by his goal, perhaps understandably so, after all this is a man who has starred for Brazil in World Cup qualifying under Tite.
"I usually score goals of this type... Those are my qualities. I never give up on any ball,” he said after the game
"Those are my qualities [getting into the box], arriving from deep to score goals. But the important thing is the win, the rest is secondary."
Source | Sport
Hopefully Paulinho can make a habit of scoring for Barcelona, after all the goal came from his first shot on target for the club (according to Opta) - not a bad start.
Credit too must go to Valverde for making the right changes, with both his substitutes scoring to turn the game round.
It could be argued he should perhaps have made more changes to his starting XI in the midst of three games in a week but he responded to the way the game was going.
Either way, it’s now four wins from four for Barca with Eibar up next on Tuesday at Camp Nou.
And Valverde has plenty of decisions to make ahead of the game, not least whether Paulinho has done enough to force his way into his starting XI.