Marc-Andre ter Stegen was back in the Barcelona starting XI on Wednesday for the first time this season and didn’t take long to impress in goal against Dynamo Kiev.
The Germany international has been out since undergoing knee surgery in August but was passed fit ahead of the Champions League match and replaced Neto in the team for the visit of the Ukrainian side.
Ter Stegen was called into action late in the first half when the visitors looked certain to equalize. Midfielder Vitaliy Buyalskyi was allowed a free header close to goal, but Ter Stegen showed amazing reflexes to throw out an arm and deflect it over the crossbar.
It was an important moment in the game and allowed Barca to head in at half-time with their lead intact. The hosts went ahead after just five minutes when Lionel Messi scored from the penalty spot.
Ter Stegen was also called into action after the break, making a number of important saves to deny Dynamo Kiev an equalizer and keep Barca’s lead intact.
Follow the Heavy on Barcelona Facebook page for the latest breaking news, rumors and content!
Praise for Ter Stegen
Ter Stegen’s superb save and performance on his return from injury drew plenty of praise from supporters and commentators alike on social media during the match.
Ronald Koeman’s assistant Alfred Schreuder spoke about Ter Stegen ahead of kick-off and discussed the Barca boss’s decision to start the goalkeeper after his injury lay-off, as reported by Mundo Deportivo.
Ter Stegen has made a very good recovery and has already been training with the group for several days. The feelings he has had were good both on a personal and collective level and that is why we are committed to him.
Back-up Neto had done a solid job this season replacing Ter Stegen but was guilty of a poor error against Alaves at the weekend that gifted Pablo Machín’s side the opening goal in their La Liga clash.
Ter Stegen Shows Off Hard Work
Ter Stegen’s return comes after weeks of rehabilitation. The Germany international took to social media ahead of the game to offer fans a glimpse into how he’s been working hard to get back to full fitness.
The goalkeeper has also signed a new contract at the club while he’s been out. Ter Stegen has renewed until 2025, and his new deal includes a buyout clause set at €500 million.
Barcelona fans will be thrilled to see Ter Stegen back to full fitness and looking in great shape on his first start of the season. The Catalan giants have yet to hit top form in 2020-21 but will feel far more secure defensively with the German back between the sticks.
READ NEXT: Barcelona Fans Can’t Believe Griezmann Miss in UCL Match