• Barcelona have reached the Europa League Round of 16
  • They defeated Napoli 4-2 in the latter's home ground
  • Jordi Alba and Frenkie de Jong were among Barça's scorers

Xavi Hernandez praised FC Barcelona's "most complete performance" after the Catalans defeated Napoli 4-2 in the Europa League Round of 32 second-leg tie on Thursday.

With the latest victory at Diego Armando Maradona Stadium, Barcelona qualified for the last-16 round in Europa League.

Jordi Alba, Frenkie de Jong, Gerard Pique and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang fired the goals for Barcelona as they brushed aside hosts Napoli, who had Lorenzo Insigne and Matteo Politano on the goal sheet.

"Perhaps this was the most complete performance of our season. 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," Xavi told UEFA after his side's incredible win, according to Barca Blaugranes.

Barcelona have seen some really low days over the last few months. One of the highlights that define their misery is when the Camp Nou side dropped from Champions League down to second-tier European tournament Europa League. Even in La Liga, they were struggling at No. 8 or 9 for most occasions before experiencing a brilliant turnaround recently.

"Napoli pressed high up and spaces were available in behind them. From defending a corner we made a textbook counterattack. We took advantage of our fast players. We understood how to create and use a 'free man.' I'm very happy for the team," Xavi added.

Barcelona and Napoli drew 1-1 in the first leg last week
Barcelona and Napoli drew 1-1 in the first leg last week AFP / LLUIS GENE

Meanwhile, Xavi's former Barcelona teammate Carles Puyol heaped praise on the current Barcelona boss after the Napoli win.

"When Barça hired Xavi, I said we would win the league, I bet a dinner, I don't know if I'll pay for it, but what I know for sure is that I like this team. And I'm sure it will give us joy, sooner rather than later," Puyol tweeted.

The win over Napoli is the latest in a run of fine results that have included big La Liga victories over Valencia and Atletico Madrid. The Catalans are placed fourth in the table, with 42 points in 24 matches, four points behind third-placed Real Betis. Barcelona still have a game in hand.

Barcelona have been doing well despite having a couple of players out with injuries. Dutch forward Memphis Depay, who has scored most goals (8) for the club in the 2021-22 season, is currently sidelined due to Achilles tendon problems. He has already missed eight games and his return date is not yet known.