Barcelona defender Gerard Pique has insisted that his side has changed since the defeat to Bayern Munich and admitted that confidence in the side is growing after reinforcing well in the January transfer window. The Catalan club beat Napoli 5-3 over two legs to qualify further in the Europa League.
Barcelona produced an emphatic display at the Diego Armando Maradona stadium as they beat Napoli 4-2 in their Europa League playoff second leg on Thursday to advance to the round of 16.
The Spanish side started the game brightly as Jordi Alba finished off a counter-attack in the 8th minute. Frenkie De Jong then curled in a wonder goal from distance to double his side's advantage in the 13th minute. Napoli scored soon after VAR intervened to grant the home side a penalty which was comfortably dispatched by Lorenzo Insigne.
The Blaugrana were not deterred as Gerard Pique fired past the goalkeeper to restore the two-goal lead right at the stroke of halftime. The home side weren't able to mount a comeback as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyag curled in a first-time shot into the top corner in the 59th minute.
Napoli scored a consolation goal just before full-time as Matteo Politano slotted home in the 87th minute. A 5-3 aggregate scoreline means that Barcelona qualified through to the next round and Pique hailed his side's turnaround in form in recent weeks.
“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. I'm convinced that this trend will take us to a good position and we will see in the Europa League," Pique told GOAL.