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Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen asked his teammates to raise the quality of their performances at the end of matches after they earned a narrow victory over LaLiga fighter Huesca.
Frenkie de Jong scored a volley in the first half that was decisive in El Alcoraz, but Ter Stegen had to be vigilant to prevent Rafa Mir from leveling as the bottom of the division was able to attack in the second half.
Ter Stegen acknowledged that Barcelona’s performance improved their performance in the 1-1 draw with Eibar last time in LaLiga, but asked for more work for the Blaugrana to fight for a place in the top three again.
“For 35 minutes we did very well, we played very well,” Ter Stegen told the club’s official website.
“We had a lot of possession, we pushed them high, when we lost the ball we were directly in front of them to keep going. We made it very difficult for them to get out of the back.
“We have to improve, that’s what I think, especially in the last minutes so that we don’t suffer so much. I do not think it’s necessary.
“But we won the game that is very important and we advanced.”
FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 3, 2021
Ter Stegen paid tribute to De Jong, who scored his second LaLiga goal of the season to equal the number he scored throughout 2019-20.
“I am very happy for him, it is not so often that he scores. I hope it continues like this, and for me and for the whole team it is good to have a clean sheet for the restart and I am very happy for us as a team ”, he said.
De Jong, who arrived at the Camp Nou on a € 75m transfer from Ajax in mid-2019, credited Lionel Messi’s pass with the opportunity to score his fourth goal for the club.
He said: “Especially in games like this when they close a lot and go backwards, almost all their team, it is important to make these runs to the area as a midfielder.
“Leo gave me a great pass and I was able to score.”
Asked if scoring the club’s first goal in 2021 has meaning for him, De Jong said: “I’m trying to score a bit more, but I don’t think it means anything, no.”