The centre-back has credited the Blaugranas style of play under Xavi as the reason for their uptick in form

Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique has explained the teams 4-2 Europa League win over Napoli on Thursday as going “back to the origins” of what makes the club great.

Specifically, he has hailed Xavis possession-based tactics as being influential in their success.

Pique was one of four different goalscorers in the match as Barcelona advanced to the last 16 with a 5-3 aggregate edge.

“We went back to the origins, to have the ball,” Pique told reporters when asked what led to the Spanish giants triumph at Diego Armando Maradona Stadium. “For a while we stopped doing it. Who was to blame? A little bit of everyone, its not fair to target anyone. Decisions were made that were not appropriate.

“Many things have changed since Bayern. Now there is a base in which the team feels confident. We have reinforced very well in January, now we have real weapons up front.

“All that is happening is a continuous improvement in the game, which sometimes translates into good results and sometimes not, but the line is ascending. Im convinced that this trend will take us to a good position and we will see in the Europa League.”

Xavi has implemented the kind of possession-orientated tactics he once used as a player at Barcelona, and on Thursday, his side held 56 per cent of the ball against Napoli.

The slick, fast-paced approach is more pronounced than it was under the watch of Ronald Koeman, who was sacked earlier in the campaign.

Beyond tactics, Xavi and left-back Jordi Alba have hailed the courage in the team and said their fighting spirit has helped achieve positive results.

Still, its been a difficult season for the Blaugrana as theyre in fourth place in La Liga and not competing in the Champions League.

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