It’s no secret that Marc-Andre ter Stegen ‘can’t explain’ Barcelona’s recent run of subpar results.
Tuesday night in the Champions League, the Catalan giants were unexpectedly defeated 1-0 by Shakhtar Donetsk, with Danylo Sikan scoring the game’s lone goal for the Ukrainian champions.
Maybe even more incriminating than the actual outcome was Barcelona’s showing on Tuesday. Despite controlling the ball for 68% of the game, Xavi Hernandez’s team produced very little in the last three minutes, managing just one shot on goal in ninety minutes.
Star striker Robert Lewandowski scored his longest goal in 12 years as a result of Barcelona’s recent incapacity to generate chances; in fact, the Pole hasn’t even attempted a shot on goal in the team’s last six games.
Similar to Xavi’s “completely unacceptable” performance against Real Sociedad a few days earlier, when his team was vastly outmatched but prevailed 1-0 thanks to a late goal by Ronald Araujo, Ter Stegen acknowledged following the Hamburg loss that he and his teammates are perplexed by the team’s recent decline in performance.
“There have been two poor performances from us. We had a solid game going into the sixtyth minute of the Clasico. Then we descended a little, and I’m not sure why at this moment,” the German remarked. We’re going to examine the circumstances around the game today, Tuesday. We anticipate. We have one more game before the break, which we will attempt to win as best we can.
We’re going to examine the circumstances around the game today, Tuesday. We anticipate. We have one more game before the break, which we will attempt to win as best we can.
We feel resentful of ourselves. We cannot experience the outcome. They gave us an opportunity in the first half, but we were unable to figure out the recipe. We are left with the impression that we should have won the match in order to advance to the following round of the Champions League.
In his post-match press conference, Xavi said that Barca’s problems are “mental.” He will be hoping that things improve when Alaves visit the Lluis Companys Olympic Stadium the following week.