Gerard and Trigueros are the bulls

The forward was again key in the vital yellow victory in Salzburg by intervening in the goals of Alcácer (who missed a penalty) and Fer Niño.


And on the third day of the European qualifiers, Spanish teams appeared without scratches. Villarreal, like Granada, recovered the prestige that was on the ground after the defeats harvested by Barça, Seville and Real Sociedad and recalled in Austria that it is one of the firm candidates to achieve this Europa League. He suffered, because the Submarine is not there to shoot rockets and because Salzburg is a rebound from the Champions that reigns with an iron fist in his country. Alcácer, who is still far from his level, put his team ahead for the return leg next Thursday. His header goal in 41 'allowed him to make up for another missed penalty (29'), second in his negative personal account in 2021. Fer Niño was lucky enough to get the pass back on track in 71 '. Both goals had, as almost always, a common denominator: the presence of Gerard. The international gave away both goals in another brilliant match. One for bravery when putting his head and the other for his left-handed silk when centering.

Emery understood perfectly that the key to starting dominating these round of 32 was to match, at least, the intensity of a team that raises dust on the run. The coach ordered a high pressure, thanks to which the robbery and the penalty stopped by Stankovic came, and put more muscle than in the last meeting with Capoue and Estupiñán. In addition, he reinforced the sides with the result in favor to preserve the income. Trigueros, in that inertia back and forth, once again gave a lesson in waste. The danger was the disconnections in the exit of the ball. Two by Parejo and an unusual one by Pau Torres cost almost three disappointments. Rulli and Daka's mismatched periscope avoided more than one goal against. Even so, Villarreal was comfortable with possession in that first half, although it came less than usual. Beyond the 0-1, Gerard had the best chance in another lateral foul.

Salzburg returned from the break angry. However, Marsch's team missed the hit from Kiota (17 goals this season and 10 assists), who met his three-month sanction for doping due to the negligence of the Malian doctor when he dispensed a drug in November prohibited against altitude sickness. Villarreal's ailments at that point were different. More than anything the accumulated fatigue, a certain lack of tension in defense and, above all, the fear of tripping again for the sixth time in a row. Emery, with his changes, was able to save the result and, by the way, return home even more calmly. Fer Niño's bullet never misses him. Villarreal is the favorite to pass, but the latest setbacks in La Cerámica (they have not won there since Reyes) force to call for prudence.

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