When Ernesto Valverde and Robert Fernandez began planning for this season at Barcelona they were determined to add an element of forcefulness into their midfield and to sign someone who offered strength as well as a technical ability.
The chosen player to satisfy their needs was Paulinho and, despite arriving to heavy criticism without ever kicking a ball, he has proven his importance to the team already and has silenced all of those who were too quick to write him off.
In San Mames, with Andres Iniesta absent, the Brazilian looked at home in that Barcelona midfield and more than providing a physical presence, he demonstrated a technical ability and a competence in retaining possession.
He played an important role in the early stages of the build up for the opening goal, before getting his own name on the score sheet in the dying minutes to seal the points.
Paulinho does not shy away from his duties and, in truth, there are few players who could bring what he has to the Camp Nou.
When he got the second goal of the night, it was no more than he deserved for his evening’s work.