Barcelona snatched a late 2-1 win at Getafe with Paulinho's strike sending them seven points clear of arch-rivals Real Madrid at the top of La Liga on Saturday.
The Brazilian midfielder's signing was widely criticised by supporters but he ran on to Lionel Messi's pass, drove into the area and fired home with six minutes remaining to preserve Barcelona's 100 percent record in the league.
Gaku Shibasaki scored a magnificent volley to put Getafe ahead in the 39th minute but another substitute, Denis Suarez, equalised for Barcelona in the 62nd.
"It's important for them (Suarez and Paulinho) from a personal point of view. It gives them confidence," said Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde.
"Them scoring shows that the squad has depth and that we have a lot of players who can contribute. Both of them get forward and they both have goals in them."
Valverde's side struggled to create many openings against a bold Getafe, who came close to opening the scoring when Gerard Pique nearly deflected Shibasaki's cross into his own net, with Jorge Molina reaching it but firing into the side netting from point-blank range.
Barcelona were dealt a blow when record signing Ousmane Dembele was forced off with a hamstring injury in the 29th minute.
"We think it's a tear but we will do more tests tomorrow," said Valverde. "It's a shame because he was just getting up to scratch with the team's dynamic. We hope he won't be out for a long time."
Samuel Umtiti’s header straight at Vicente Guaita was as close as the Catalans came to netting in the first half, with the exception of a Messi free kick tipped over just before the break.
Suarez was introduced at halftime, after captain Andres Iniesta had made little impact, and soon made his presence felt.
Receiving the ball from Sergi Roberto in the area, Suarez curled a neat finish past Guaita to level, against the run of play.
Paulinho came on in the 77th minute and seven minutes later he slammed home to put Barcelona ahead and extend their lead at the top of the table.
"Those are my qualities, arriving from deep to score goals. I am really happy with the pass from Leo and with the winning goal," said Paulinho.
Bayern's Robben scores with right foot
Bayern Munich forward Arjen Robben scored a rare right-footed goal in a 4-0 Bundesliga rout of Mainz 05, while a bizarre own goal set Werder Bremen on the way to 2-1 home defeat by Schalke 04 on Saturday.
Chadrac Akolo, who arrived in Switzerland as a refugee from his native Democratic Republic of Congo in 2009, gave VfB Stuttgart a 1-0 win over VfL Wolfsburg in a game also marked by a video referee controversy.
Bayern bounced back from last week's defeat at Hoffenheim with an easy win over a Mainz side who have three points and already look like relegation candidates.
Thomas Mueller put the Bavarians ahead in the 11th minute with a shot that took a deflection off Robben.
Bayern poured forward and Kingsley Coman contrived to hit the bar from six metres with the goal at his mercy but it was not long before Robben extended Bayern's lead.
The famously one-footed Dutchman was sent clear down the right but, instead of cutting inside onto his left foot in his usual fashion, he placed the ball past Rene Adler with his rarely used right in the 23rd minute.
It was his first right-footed league goal since February 2015.
Robert Lewandowski, on his 100th Bayern appearance, swept home the third from Mueller's cross five minutes after the break and added the fourth with a carefully-placed header in the 77th.
Bayern and Schalke 04 have nine points from three games, one behind Hanover 96 who beat Hamburg SV 2-0 on Friday.
Inter score two late goals to maintain perfect start
Inter Milan scored twice in the last 10 minutes to claim a fortuitous 2-0 win at lowly Crotone on Saturday and extend their perfect start to the Serie A season.
Milan Skriniar and Ivan Perisic were on target for Inter, who finished a modest seventh last season, as Luciano Spalletti's side survived a difficult second half in torrid conditions to make it four wins out of four.
Inter goalkeeper Samir Handanovic made difficult saves from Aleksandar Tonev either side of halftime as Crotone, the only team still to score this season, threatened a repeat of last April's shock 2-1 win.
But, after barely threatening in the second half, Skriniar put Inter ahead in the 82nd minute, scoring at the third attempt after he miscued the first then had the second charged down before finally sticking the ball past Alex Cordaz.
Too add insult to injury for winless Crotone, Perisic grabbed a second for the visitors in stoppage time.
Inter moved three points clear at the top of the standings on 12 before Juventus and Napoli, the only other teams to have won their first three games, both play on Sunday.
Crotone, who pulled off one of the greatest escapes in Serie A history to avoid the drop last term, have one point and look to be in for another long, hard season.