Ter Stegen highly critical of Barca's performance: 'We must improve and it includes me'
- Ter Stegen admits that Barca weren't at their best against Atheltic.
- The German reckons that the reason for the lacklustre performance is mostly fatigue.
- He welcomes a week of training the Catalans have ahead of them before playing their next game.
- The goalkeeper is satisfied with the defensive performance of the team, but reiterates that there is always room for improvement
The German goalkeeper made five saves against Athletic with four of them coming from inside his penalty box. The two most dangerous were Markel Susaeta's strike in the first half that would have gone right under the bar if it wasn't for Marc-Andre who parried it beautifully and Inaki Williams effort from close range that was again saved by ter Stegen.
Despite his Man of the Match performance against Atheltic, Marc-Andre ter Stegen was far from being satisfied with the outcome of the game at the San Mames and the display itself, urging Barcelona to improve as soon as possible.
"There are always things to improve, it is what we have to do. We must analyse the game well when the time comes," noted the Barca goalkeeper who saved 30 out of last 34 shots he faced after the goalless draw, as per Marca.
"It was a justified draw," ter Stegen admitted.
The keeper has, however, admitted that the fatigue provoked by Barca's intense schedule was one of the main reasons behind the underwhelming result.
"It could be that we were tired because February is a very busy month. Now we can rest for a day or two. And from then on we must fight for everything."
The 26-year-old wasn't interested in listening to the accolades for his own performance against Athletic, that included making five saves, two of these absolutely world-class:
"I am not sure if I was the best (performer) of the team, but I try to do my best," he said. "Today was a good day, defensively.
"But there are always things to improve, on my part as well, but I am happy with my performance," concluded the star shot-stopper.
Barcelona drew Athletic Bilbao 0-0 at San Mames in the 23rd round of La Liga. The Catalans failed to create any danger in front of Iago Herrerin's goal except for Lionel Messi's shot that was denied by the bar in the first half. The team looked tired and sluggish with Messi not being 100% ready, Dembele returning from an injury and Suarez, Vidal and Coutinho simply not having their best day.
Thus, Barcelona go six points clear at the top of the table with Real Madrid in the second place. Los Blancos have beaten their neighbours Atletico on the 23rd Matchday 3-1 getting ahead of Diego Simeone's side. Barcelona's next match takes place on February 16 as the Catalans face Real Valladolid at Camp Nou in the 24th round of the league. At the same time, Real Madrid will take on Girona at home.