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Ter Stegen: Hitchcock's keeper

Luis Enrique doesn’t direct Marc-Andre Ter Stegen’s actions; Alfred Hitchcock does. The German is a goalkeeper who keeps everyone in suspense, a specialist in providing a scare when Athletic are the opposition. He has a propensity to perform on the wire, which in cinema can produce wonderful results but in football can induce a heart attack.

Ter Stegen survived his meanderings into the abyss but as a result he might feel the temptation to carry on in the same vein like an acrobat with no fear of the drop. For now he has a safety net in Samuel Umtiti, who has acted so far this season like King Canute, trying to hold back the waves lapping at Ter Stegen’s feet.

Barcelona again played on the wire in San Mamés and left a few chances to fate. Leo Messi was once again the most impressive provider in LaLiga, but Luis Suárez on this occasion did not second him in efficiency. Athletic could have levelled the match. But Hitchcock didn’t allow Ter Stegen to go far off script.