Gerard is from Champions

A great goal from the striker in the 40th minute, with 0-1 against, stopped a great Salzburg that made La Cerámica tremble. He also scored the second from a penalty in 89 '.


Gerard leads Villarreal by himself to the round of 16, continuing the dream of Europe and clearing the mind of LaLiga, where Emery's team is stuck. The striker was key in Austrria's 0-2, with two assists to Alcácer and Fer Niño, and was also in charge of rescuing the Submarine on this lap when the Salzburg bulls were attacking dangerously with 0-1. Gerard scored a flag goal, very Raulian, after a sensational maneuver by Trigueros in midfield and a diagonal bite from Alcácer before assisting his attacking partner. What the international did afterwards was masterfully complete a tie in which he has shown that the Europa League is too small for him. With a feint he sat down the goalkeeper and Junozovic, tied in the 40th minute and made Emery snort. That's where the teeth ended.

To this spectacular detail, Villarreal had been a doll in the hands of an empowered rival. Marsch did not cheat in the previous one and sent his team to press up with the aim of forgetting all the fears that he showed seven days ago. He enjoyed up to four good chances in half an hour. In the first, Estupiñán was portrayed for his lack of skill in wanting to get it out. It is still far from what is expected of him. In the second, the first goal of the match arrived, after a mistake by Rulli when he wanted to be Beckenbauer (17 '). Daka stole and gave the goal to Berisha. The anguish for the Submarine did not end there. Four minutes later Daka did not equal these miracle sixteenths after finishing a gallop of Mwepu that no one dared to hinder. The winger himself had the last from the front. Until then, Villarreal played at Parejo's trot, without being able to sleep the game with possession and without any capacity to overflow. Jaume Costa suffered a lot on the right to attack and the double winger built on the left never could with Kristiansen. Gerard's first goal before the break made up the score, disobeying justice.

Salzburg returned from rest with their hunger intact. With 95 goals this season in 31 games, having to make a couple of them in 45 minutes seemed anything but a problem. He arrived little at goal, due to the construction of his game was much less fluid, but he continued to give the same fear. In 58 'he had the best opportunity to push things further. The referee signaled a penalty by Capoue's hand. However, the VAR recommended that he review it, due to his involuntariness, so he retracted. The blow ended up awakening Villarreal and sinking a Salzburg that had its last bullet in 77 '(Sucic). Emery's changes returned his team to the natural drawing, with more one against one and with Gerard pecking between the lines taking advantage of the spaces and his intelligence. Thanks to his gifts he forced and converted a penalty in 89 '. He was the key to this first European crossing, ratifying what is already an open secret: he deserves to play early on Tuesdays and Wednesdays.

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