• Premier League
  • Serie A

Ter Stegen is good with his feet but...

Barcelona's Ter Stegen is good with his feet 

Ter Stegen is good with his feet, but it's best not to remind of it. He's got decent control, no doubt about it, and that said without taking anything away from his standard goal-keeping skills. But Barça send the ball back to him so much, and he takes so many liberties, that the Barcelona fans are going to spend a lot of games with their hearts in their mouths. And it's going to cost them points. What happened yesterday was striking. In the 80th minute someone on the Carrusel radio show pointed out he'd played more than 50 balls with his feet, more than Beñat, Athletic's midfielder who was running things for his team. That's an exaggerated use of an asset. 

Ter Stegen with his feet again...

Beñat wasted a gift from Ter Stegen

Barça won yesterday precisely because Beñat missed a gift from Ter Stegen. It was early on and came from one of the few balls the Barcelona keeper didn't play well. He went to play it out down the centre, towards Busquets; Beñat, alert to the situation, read it well and ended up one on one with the keeper. He shot fiercely at point-blank range, but crazily. It hit Ter Stegen in the face, as punishment for his crime. But not the punishment of conceding a goal, which would have been worse. Because it has to be remembered that Barcelona only won by a single goal. A beautiful one, it's true, a great counter-attack and final ball from Arda to Rakitic. 

Athletic were in charge for much of the game against Barça

Athletic had a good game, on the front foot for most of it. Barça came out playing it neatly around their back line and the keeper, but with few attacks that went anywhere, although some did, almost always when Messi was involved. But it was Athletic who dominated more, were more fluid in their play, more certain of their plan. They didn't pick up any points, but gave a good account of themselves overall and that with Lahoz whistling the match. Yesterday he gave a foul without seeing it, with the bad luck that it hadn't occurred. He made up for it by booking two inncocents: Busquets and Denis Suárez.