Gerard scores in Villarreal 2-1 win at Getafe before injury
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Gerard Moreno scored one goal and set up another before the Villarreal striker was substituted because of injury during his team’s 2-1 win at Getafe in the Spanish league on Saturday.
Despite struggling with injuries this season, Gerard has been a key player in Villarreal’s impressive run to the Champions League semifinals after ousting Juventus and, this week, Bayern Munich in the knockout rounds.
Gerard gave Villarreal the lead in the seventh minute and helped to make it 2-0 in the 16th when he stole the ball in midfield to start a counterattack. The Spain striker, who also set up Samuel Chukwueze’s late winner to topple Bayern on Tuesday, again made the key pass by playing Manuel Trigueros clear to beat David Soria.
Gerard had to be substituted in the 61st after he was attended by team doctors. He touched the back of his right thigh before walking off gingerly.
Emery said Gerard had a muscular injury but team doctors had yet to determine how long he would be out, leaving in question his availability for the European semifinals against Liverpool in two weeks.
“He has not been unlucky with injuries this season. We hope this is not serious and that he recovers quickly because we really need him,” defender Pau Torres said.
Enes Unal pulled one back for Getafe three minutes later with his 15th goal, second only to Karim Benzema’s league-leading 24.
But the end came for Getafe’s unbeaten run of 10 consecutive home games. The previous loss was in late October at Alfonso Pérez Coliseum in Madrid.
Villarreal remained in seventh place, while Getafe slid into 15th.
On Sunday, leader Real Madrid visits third-placed Sevilla with a 12-point lead over the Andalusian side and second-placed Barcelona, which hosts Cádiz on Monday.
Valencia lost to Osasuna 2-1 in its second-to-last league game before it plays the final of the Copa del Rey.
Valencia plays Villarreal on Tuesday then faces Real Betis in the Copa final next Saturday.
Joselu Mato’s second-half goal helped Alavés beat Rayo Vallecano 1-0 and end a seven-round winless streak for the relegation-threatened hosts. Alavés rose out of last place at four points from safety.
Rayo, which was once as high as fourth place, slipped to 14th after its 12th straight game without a victory.
Elche also routed Mallorca 3-0 for the modest side’s biggest win of the season.
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