Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen has apologised for his performance against Celta Vigo on Sunday. Barcelona blew their opportunity to claim the top spot in the La Liga table after Real Madrid dropped two points against underdogs Eibar earlier in the day.
Ter Stegen, who was responsible for at least 2 of the 4 goals Barcelona conceded, was disappointed with his performance and has publicly apologised to fans and teammates.
Talking about his failed chip attempt in the 77th minute which led to what turned out to be Celta’s winner, the Barcelona keeper said, “We fought until the end, but the goal is my fault – I am really sorry for the team for what happened.”
“Clearly I want to make a pass to Jordi. It is a failure that cannot happen and again I’m sorry for the team, who fought until the end. If I had not made this decision we may have won and this was clearly my fault.”
“Although this has happened I will not change my game. It has only happened once. It’s a defeat that hurts, but we must continue. Now comes the international break and then we will try to follow the path we were on before. We must get up and go on.”
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique made key changes to the starting XI, resting Andres Iniesta and Javier Mascherano, and that decision backfired horribly. Barcelona were 3-0 down at the break. Pione Sisto put Celta 1-0 ahead on 22 minutes, and former Liverpool striker Iago Aspas doubled the lead right after the half hour mark.
Just two minutes later, Frenchman Jeremy Mathieu put the ball through his own goal, leaving Barcelona a steep mountain to climb, with the Catalan club having the unenviable task of recovering three goals away from home.
The Blaugrana almost did the unthinkable and found themselves only one goal down after 65 minutes, when Neymar fired home from the penalty spot after Gerard Pique had bagged himself a goal.
The comeback was ill-fated, however, as Barcelona goalkeeper Ter Stegen made a mess of a routine clearance when his attempted chip ricocheted off Celta’s Pablo Hernandez and into the back of the German’s net. Pique netted another goal in the dying minutes to leave the final score at 4-3.