Xavi Hernandez lauds ‘most complete’ Barcelona performance after Napoli victory


Xavi believes Barcelona produced a “perfect match for our season” in the second leg of Napoli’s victory in the Europa League semi-final.

The Blaugrana advanced to the first round of the tournament after finishing with a 5-3 victory in a 4-2 victory at the Stadio Diego Armando Maradona on Thursday.

Goals in the first half from Jordi Alba, Frenkie De Jong, and Gerard Pique put the visitors in control of Naples, and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang settled the game just an hour before.

Barca registered 16 shots from seven of their rivals – four of their goals from six in the target – while enjoying 56 percent play and winning 54.8 percent of the various games throughout the tournament.

Xavi is delighted as his side book a place in the Last 16 on Friday.

“Maybe, this was the perfect game for our season,” said the head coach. “We wanted to dominate and we did that.

“I am happy with the effort we are making and the football we have played. The result is good.

“I am very happy with the players and this is the way forward, we are on the right track.

“We pressed well, we were high, whenever we lost the ball – like we did at home.

“Napoli pressed up and the gaps were behind them. From the defensive line, we made a book attack. We took advantage of our fast players.

“We understood how to create and use a ‘free man’. I am very happy with the team.”

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