Pique: Napoli win reveals Barca returning to ‘origins’
Gerard Pique says Barcelona’s emphatic 4-2 Europa League win over Napoli on Thursday, which noticed them ebook their place within the spherical of 16, despatched a message that the Catalan membership are on their means again to the highest.
Barca have struggled in Europe in recent times, successful simply two of their final 11 knockout video games away from Camp Nou. This season, they did not make it out of their Champions League group, scoring simply twice in six video games as they dropped into the Europa League.
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Nevertheless, Pique, who was on track on the Diego Armando Maradona stadium, is optimistic that Barca’s presence in Europe’s second-tier competitors will solely be fleeting.
“Now we have not been competing in Europe on the stage a membership like Barca ought to be,” he informed reporters. “[But now] now we have gone again to our origins, one thing we possibly had stopped doing lately. It is a message for everybody, for us and for folks on the surface, that little by little we’re on our means again. We’re on the appropriate path.”
Pique, who added that “everybody should take their share of the blame” for Barca’s hunch, says a mix of things have helped the staff flip a nook since September’s 3-0 defeat at residence to Bayern Munich.
“Loads has modified since then,” he defined. “I’d say we now have the basics in place. There’s a base from which the staff feels assured and comfy.
“We additionally strengthened nicely in January, including firepower in assault. We all know we are able to rating and compete now. There’s been a change on the bench as nicely with [Xavi coming in]. There have been a number of modifications and that is mirrored within the staff.”
Jordi Alba and Frenkie de Jong targets helped Barca right into a 2-0 lead inside 13 minutes in Naples earlier than Lorenzo Insigne pulled one again from the penalty spot for the Serie A aspect.
Pique restored Barca’s two-goal benefit earlier than the break and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang’s fourth objective since becoming a member of from Arsenal made it 4-1. Matteo Politano added a late comfort for Napoli as Barca progressed 5-3 on combination following a 1-1 draw at Camp Nou final week.
“It was our most full efficiency this season,” coach Xavi Hernandez stated in a information convention, though he was eager so as to add that Barca “have gained nothing but.”
He continued: “We regarded to dominate the sport and we managed that. We knew how one can discover the free man, we pressed excessive, we pressed nicely after shedding the ball… we dominated, as we did at residence as nicely. The result’s honest. That is the trail to observe, we’re heading in the right direction.”
Xavi reserved reward for midfielder De Jong, who has been in good type in current weeks.
“I feel he performed brilliantly,” he stated of the Dutch worldwide. “He is very skilled but in addition very self-critical. He now understands what we would like from him, how one can create superiority and divide up the play.
“On high of that, he is a participant that will get into the field, scores targets, can discover the free man. He did not perceive [what we want] however now he is getting it and he could be a essential participant for a few years.”
The draw for the spherical of 16 of the Europa League takes place on Friday, with Barca again in motion on Sunday as they proceed their pursuit of a top-four spot in LaLiga with a house sport in opposition to Athletic Bilbao.