Ter Stegen defends reaction after loss to Leganes

Ter Stegen defends reaction after loss to Leganes

BARCELONA — Marc-Andre ter Stegen has told ESPN FC that Barcelona’s players are only human after Leganes goalkeeper Ivan Cuellar accused them of being bad losers.

Cuellar claimed not a single Barca player congratulated Leganes on Wednesday after they inflicted a first defeat of the season on Ernesto Valverde’s side at Butarque.

However, Ter Stegen explained that Barcelona’s reaction to the shock defeat was born out of frustration at their own performance as they gave up two goals in 68 seconds after half-time to lose 2-1.

“I don’t think that it’s true,” the German goalkeeper said when asked about Cuellar’s assertion that the Barca players don’t know how to lose.

“We are looking at ourselves, of course. It was not against them. In the end, we didn’t do what we wanted to do. We had another objective when we started the game. When you concede two goals in two minutes, of course, you’re not happy with the result.

“But we know that it was an amazing job they did and we tried to recognise that as well. But, of course, you are not happy about the performance and then sometimes also it could happen that we’re thinking more about ourselves. We are just humans.

“I will say it as it is: sometimes we are pissed and you are not in the mood, you just want to walk in [to the dressing room]. It’s normal human behaviour.”

Barca’s midweek defeat followed last Sunday’s 2-2 draw against Girona as they dropped five points in just four days. They have the chance to get back to winning ways at home to Athletic Bilbao on Saturday.

“For sure there are things to work on,” Ter Stegen added. “But there are no easy games in the league. This is what sometimes people don’t really see. There’s not even one easy game.

“You can play against teams that just came up to the first division and it’s super difficult to play against them. For them, also, it’s always the most important match of the year. They want to show up, they want to show that they can be on the same level.

“I mean, we have a squad of amazing quality, but sometimes it’s more than this. Of course, we need to work on it, there’s always space to improve, personally and as a team. This is what we try to do. We want to be in good shape [against Athletic]. I am confident that we can manage to come back.”