Marc-Andre ter Stegen makes claim to be Germany’s No. 1, Latest Football News - The New Paper

Marc-Andre ter Stegen makes claim to be Germany’s No. 1

Barca goalkeeper saves penalty and withstands onslaught in draw with Dortmund

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen let his gloves do the talking in a week when he was embroiled in a war of words with Germany and Bayern Munich's No. 1 Manuel Neuer.

Ter Stegen saved a penalty from Borussia Dortmund captain Marco Reus and repeatedly frustrated the hosts as Barcelona left the Signal Iduna Park with a goalless draw in their Champions League Group F opener yesterday morning (Singapore time).

"It was a difficult game today and the result is fair considering what happened," ter Stegen told Sky, and commiserated with Germany teammate Reus.

"The penalty? It's hard to study, Reus always changes. It was a feeling I had (going to his left) and I'm glad that I could save it. But Marco played really well today and really hurt us.

"They have had some very clear chances. We were not very well organised. With the quality they have, it's difficult to avoid it. I am happy to take a point."

This performance comes off the back of a debate in Germany surrounding the No. 1 position in the national team, with ter Stegen frustrated at not getting any playing time in their recent Euro 2020 qualifiers against Holland and Northern Ireland, despite his form in recent seasons.

Neuer, who, according to SportBild magazine, is "seriously considering" putting an end to his international career after Euro 2020, responded by saying that ter Stegen didn't say anything while with the German camp and suggested he was also being disrespectful to the other goalkeepers pushing for a spot.

The Barca shot-stopper, 27, returned fire when he said: "I have expectations and I have to express them. I don't think that Neuer or others have to talk about my feelings or assess them. His remarks were inappropriate."

Following his heroics yesterday, ter Stegen, who has 22 international caps, added: "People know what I am capable of doing. I trust myself and today was the occasion to prove it."

In a game in which Lionel Messi made his return from injury, Barca coach Ernesto Valverde said it was ter Stegen who shone for the Catalan side.

"The team overcame a bad moment today, mainly thanks to ter Stegen," said Valverde after watching his side survive a second-half onslaught from Lucien Favre's side.

"In La Liga, we were commenting the other day that they were attacking us too much. Good, he's our goalkeeper, he is a great goalkeeper and he was really good today."

Meanwhile, Dortmund were left to rue several missed chances.

Reus said he felt "rubbish" after his missed penalty and insisted that they should have won the game.

"We had four or five chances, and, if we had taken one of them, we would have won," he told Sky.

"We said after the draw that we wanted to qualify for the knockout stages. If we continue to play like we did today, then there shouldn't be a problem."

Dortmund defender Mats Hummels added: "We played brilliantly in the second half and it feels a bit like we have lost two points."

The draw leaves all four teams in Group F level on one point, after Inter Milan and Slavia Prague drew 1-1 yesterday. - AFP, REUTERS