Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen showed his class once again on Thursday after seeing his team sneak past third-tier Cornella in the Copa del Rey.
The Germany international did not feature in the match after being given a rare breather by manager Ronald Koeman. Back-up stopper Neto was given a rare start instead, but Ter Stegen was in attendance at the Camp Municipal de Cornellà as Barca won 2-0 thanks to two goals in extra-time.
Ter Stegen saw Cornella goalkeeper Ramon Juan produce an inspired display against the Catalan giants, saving penalties from Miralem Pjanic in the first half and Ousmane Dembele in the second.
Juan also produced a string of other fine saves to deny Barca and send the game into extra-time, prompting Ter Stegen to congratulate the goalkeeper after the match and give him his shirt.
Game recognize game. pic.twitter.com/zV7uQ3vbaq
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) January 21, 2021
The Cornella goalkeeper spoke to El Partidazo de COPE afterwards and explained what Ter Stegen had said to him. “He told me ‘You were amazing.’ I was a fan of Casillas because I lived through the golden age of the national team, but now I will have a poster of Ter Stegen in my room”
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Cornella Goalkeeper Makes History
The Cornella goalkeeper’s performance also saw him write his name into the history books and become the first player ever to save two penalties against Barcelona in a single game.
Cornellà goalkeeper Ramon Juan is apparently the first goalkeeper EVER to save two penalties against Barcelona in the same game!! https://t.co/gozqrkHlbK
— The Spanish Football Podcast (@tsf_podcast) January 21, 2021
Juan was told about the record after the match and expressed his surprise, as reported by La Liga commentator Tim Lee. He said, “I didn’t know that fact, what I did know is that I’ve never before saved two penalties in my life, not even in a shoot out!”
Yet the goalkeeper could not do quite enough to keep Barca out. A fierce shot from Dembele finally broke the deadlock at the start of extra-time before substitute Pedri teed up Martin Braithwaite to score Barca’s second with the last kick of the game.
Barcelona Unhappy with Penalty Misses
Barcelona’s penalty misses did not go down well with manager Ronald Koeman or defender Clement Lenglet. The Barca boss fumed at his team’s two missed penalties after the match, explaining “You can always miss a penalty, but you can’t accept missing two penalties.”
Lenglet, who was given the captain’s armband for the game, also admitted after the victory that the team must improve their spot-kicks, as reported by Marca.
We are here to win the games. The cup is very difficult and the differences between the teams are narrowing. We are on a bad streak with penaties. We have to work on that too. There are many things we have to work on.”
Barca will be relieved to make it through after a tough game on an artificial pitch, particularly after seeing rivals Atletico Madrid and Real Madrid dumped out of the tournament. Koeman’s men will discover their opponents in the last-16 in Friday’s draw.