Xavi lauds 'most complete' Barcelona performance after Napoli victory

By Sports Desk February 24, 2022

Xavi believes Barcelona produced "the most complete performance of our season" during the second leg of their Europa League knockout round play-off victory over Napoli.

The Blaugrana stormed through to the last 16 of the competition after completing a commanding 5-3 aggregate victory thanks to a 4-2 triumph at Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Thursday.

First-half goals from Jordi Alba, Frenkie De Jong and Gerard Pique put the visitors in control in Naples, while Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang settled the tie before the hour mark.

Barca registered 16 shots to their opponents' seven – with their four goals coming from six on target – while they enjoyed 56 per cent of possession and won 54.8 per cent of the duels throughout the contest.

And Xavi was delighted as his side booked their place in Friday's last-16 draw.

"Perhaps, this was the most complete performance of our season," the head coach said. "We wanted to dominate and we did. 

"I'm happy about the effort we put in and with the football we played. The result is fair. 

"I am very happy for the players and this is the way forward.  We are on the right road.

"We pressed well, high up, whenever we lost the ball – just like we did at home. 

"Napoli pressed high up and spaces were available in behind them. From defending a corner, we made a textbook counter-attack. We took advantage of our fast players. 

"We understood how to create and use a 'free man'. I'm very happy for the team."

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