Barça boasts best goalkeeping numbers in Europe

Barça boasts best goalkeeping numbers in Europe

Marc André ter Stegen and Jasper Cillessen have made the Barça net Europe's most impenetrable among the eight teams still vying for the UEFA Champions League title

Offense may win games and, yes, defense may win championships — but let’s not forget about the value of good goalkeeping.

With FC Barcelona safely among Europe’s elite eight following last week’s 3–0 (4–1 agg.) KO of Chelsea in the UEFA Champions League round of 16, the team’s two netminders — the German Marc-André ter Stegen and the Dutchman Jasper Cillessen — have conceded just 22 goals on the season, and now boast the Old Continent’s top combined numbers across all competitions among those still alive in the tournament.

None of the other seven teams left in the Champions League — Real Madrid, Juventus, Manchester City, Liverpool, Bayern Munich, Sevilla, and Barça’s quarterfinal rival, AS Roma — have surrendered so few goals this season in all competitions. Juventus, long known for its stingy defense, comes closest, with 26 goals against, four more than the blaugrana juggernaut.

Total goals conceded across all competitions by the last 8 teams alive in Champions League play:

22 — Barça
26 — Juventus
31 — Bayern Munich
33 — AS Roma
34 — Manchester City
49 — Liverpool
51 — Real Madrid
64 — Sevilla

Total goals conceded only in the UEFA Champions League by the last 8 teams alive in the tournament (through 8 games):

2 — Barça
6 — Liverpool
7 — Manchester City
7 — Bayern Munich
8 — Juventus
8 — AS Roma
9 — Real Madrid
16 — Sevilla

Ter Stegen, not surprisingly, has the best save percentage in the Champions League among the teams still alive: 0.894. And in La Liga, where Ter Stegen has given up just 13 goals in 29 games, he has also recently overtaken Atlético’s Jan Oblak in the running for the Zamora Trophy, which is given to the La Liga goalkeeper with the lowest goals-to-games ratio.

30 shutouts!

But while Ter Stegen has played the lion’s share of minutes this season in goal for Barça, Cillessen has done just as well in his nine games played, giving up just two goals, both in the Copa del Rey.

Total shutouts across all competitions by the last 8 teams alive in Champions League play:

30 — Barça
27 — Juventus
22 — Manchester City
19 — Bayern Munich
18 — Liverpool
17 — AS Roma
17 — Sevilla
15 — Real Madrid

In total, Ter Stegen and Cillessen have combined for 30 clean sheets in 47 games played so far this season: 23 shutouts for Ter Stegen — tops in Europe — and 7 for Cillessen.

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