Tuesday 23 April 2019
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Attack is the best form of defence for Barcelona – Ter Stegen

Attack is the best form of defence for Barcelona – Ter Stegen

Monday 15 April 2019

Attack is the best form of defence for Barcelona – Ter Stegen


Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen believes their one-goal advantage over Manchester United is “not enough to defend” ahead of the return leg of their Champions League quarter-final.

The Spanish champions walked away from Old Trafford with a 1-0 win following Luke Shaw’s early own goal but Ter Stegen is wary of a United side that have already upset the odds this season.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s side trailed 2-0 at the halfway stage of their last-16 fixture against Paris St Germain, only to stage a remarkable comeback at the Parc des Princes to reach the last-eight.

Ter Stegen said: “The good thing is that we play differently to PSG but they are really dangerous.

“They are very quick. You always have to have be alert. I think it’s they key to win this very difficult game. They know how to play in a very calm way. They made things really hard for us (in the first leg).

“The result we got in Manchester is dangerous because it’s a very small advantage, it’s not enough to defend.

“We need to step forward and create risky situations. We have to keep the ball and create good chances and score.”

Barca head coach Ernesto Valverde rested several first-team players at the weekend in an effort to keep them fresh for Tuesday night – but the tactic backfired as they were held to a goalless draw by LaLiga’s bottom club Huesca.

One positive from the fixture was Ousmane Dembele’s return to action after a month on the sidelines because of injury.

The Frenchman played 67 minutes on Saturday and may retain his starting role against United – though Valverde is wary of overburdening the 21-year-old.

“It’s a possibility that he may start, he might not,” Valverde said. “The other day he played 60 minutes that is what we wanted.

“We didn’t want him to play that long but he felt OK, we just wanted to have him ready for this game. I’m not sure he will be able to play for 90 minutes.”

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer attempted to tone down the significance of the 1999 Champions League final but the Manchester United manager feels the fixture proved anything is possible in football.

Solskjaer claimed a special place in the hearts of United supporters 20 years ago when his last-gasp strike against Bayern Munich at the Nou Camp sealed an unforgettable Treble.

Now the club’s manager, the Norwegian returned to the ground on Monday as his side bid to overturn a 1-0 deficit in the return leg of their Champions League quarter-final in Barcelona.

Yet Solskjaer refused to dwell too much on the past and is fully focused on the task at hand, urging his side to believe they can prevail against the Spanish champions on Tuesday night.

He said: “Of course it’s a fantastic memory for me. It’s the only time I’ve been on the pitch, but I don’t really look back on that night too often.

“My job now is to make us play better than in the first game.

“I was a player back then. In football anything can happen at any time and we know that we can still be in this tie.

“It’s about the quality though. We need to defend well but going forward we need to score. If we keep a clean sheet, we can still be in the tie in the 93rd minute.”

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