The German goalkeeper had to be on good form as a leaky Barca defence threatened to throw away three vital Champions League points
An angry Marc-Andre ter Stegen said Barcelona have ‘a few things to work on’ after they squeezed past Slavia Prague in the Champions League group stage.
Barca went three points clear at the top of Group F with three games played after an early Lionel Messi opener and an own goal from Peter Olayinka helped Ernesto Valverde’s side to a 2-1 win.
The Spanish league leaders were far from their best in Prague, and were indebted to Ter Stegen as their opponents created numerous scoring opportunities throughout the 90 minutes.
“We did not play at the level we wanted but thankfully we got the three points, which has been the most important thing,” Ter Stegen told Movistar Plus.
“It has been necessary to talk about some things. We have to do it between ourselves, I will not say it here, but there are things to improve – a few of them.”
The 27-year-old has been an important figure for Barca this season, with his side struggling to find their best form despite the big-money summer arrivals of Antoine Griezmann and Frenkie de Jong.
When asked whether he thought Valverde had made tactical mistakes on the night, Ter Stegen was non-committal: “This has been an internal matter as well, I don’t want to do it here. I would like to talk to those who were on the field first.
“They scored against us right on the first chance of the second half. This can’t happen to us, I was quite alone.
“He doesn’t do anything special, he takes a pass and it’s just ahead of the goal. We have things to improve, that’s a tactical thing that we didn’t go back to 100 per cent. That’s it, things that happen during a game.
Article continues below
“On a personal level I always want to be there. If I can help the team, even better. In the first half we had chances against us in which we were not well placed but these are things that happen.”
“We want to keep the advantage there because we got a difficult group. We are ahead, we want to win the next game to get ahead a little more.”
Barca started the night level on points with Borussia Dortmund, but opened up some breathing space after Lucien Favre’s side were beaten 2-0 by Inter on Wednesday night. While it might not have been convincing, the Slavia win was their sixth consecutive victory in all competitions.