Xavi thankful for Ter Stegen heroics as Barcelona fend off Getafe

January 23, 2023


Xavi thanked goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen for coming to Barcelona’s rescue as they scrambled a 1-0 win over Getafe.

The German shot-stopper made a string of crunch interventions that meant Pedri’s first-half strike was enough to bring three points on Sunday.

Barcelona stretched their league run at Camp Nou to nine games without defeat, but coach Xavi accepted the LaLiga leaders were well short of their best.

“We haven’t known how to attack well, and in general we have been quite untidy,” Xavi said. “We lacked aggressiveness and the knowledge of how to attack spaces better. We have won without playing well.

“There are times when you are untidy and things don’t turn out as you expect, but even so the team believe, defend well, and all the players are generous in their collective work.

“We haven’t been too sharp in attack, but we managed to keep a clean sheet again, so without having played well we got the three points.”

For that, Xavi said Ter Stegen deserved rich plaudits, with the 30-year-old making three outright saves and commanding his penalty area expertly.

“We are seeing the best Ter Stegen that has been seen in a long time,” Xavi said.

“In one-against-ones he has been spectacular. He is a leader for the squad, he is being decisive, and it is important that the goalkeeper also saves points.”

Xavi is not overly concerned by his team’s so-so performance, and he was thankful they found a way to win while playing beneath their usual level, even if Ter Stegen had to dig them out of trouble.

“I think that in 70 or 80 per cent of games we have been good, so I think that in general we are closer to a good Barca than to an untidy Barca,” Xavi said.

“We will surely find ourselves with more games like today’s, but there we must be more practical.

“Of course you want to play better, but the opponent also play and make it difficult for you, as happened today.”