Musacchio breaks leg in Villarreal draw at Getafe
BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Villarreal defender Mateo Musacchio’s gruesome leg injury near the end of a 1-1 draw at Getafe overshadowed play in the Spanish league on Sunday.
Villarreal said that Musacchio broke his fibula and dislocated his left ankle when it completely doubled over while he was running in the 76th minute.
The Argentine center back tumbled to the turf in agony as team doctors and the medical staff at Alfonso Perez Stadium rushed to attend to him before carrying him off the pitch on a stretcher.
Musacchio was taken to a nearby hospital in Madrid where he underwent an operation. The club did not say how long it expected him to be out.
“It is a serious, very serious injury,” Villarreal coach Marcelino Garcia said. “The match is secondary to this. I didn’t think Mateo’s injury was that serious, but when I approached the stretcher and saw blood I was frightened. The images are chilling. We hope the operation will go well and that we can all help him recover.
“What has happened to him is an authentic tragedy. It’s a day for all of us to be sad.”
The 24-year-old Musacchio has played for Villarreal since arriving in 2009 from River Plate, where he debuted in Argentina’s top division at the age of 15. Musacchio played his first match with Argentina in a friendly against El Salvador on March 28. The injury will rule him out of this summer’s Copa America in Chile.
After a dull first half, Villarreal took the lead when Ikechuwku Uche converted a penalty in the 52nd that the striker had earned when he was fouled by Mehdi Lacen in the area. That goal ended a four-game scoring drought for the team.
But Getafe midfielder Diego Castro headed the hosts level in the 64th from Roberto Lago’s cross.
Villarreal remained in sixth place, now 11 points behind Sevilla in fifth, while Getafe inched nine points clear of the relegation zone.
Elsewhere, Espanyol took some revenge for its elimination from the Copa del Rey semifinals by beating Athletic Bilbao 1-0 to leapfrog the Basque club into eighth place.
Deportivo La Coruna came back twice to draw 2-2 at Real Sociedad in the promising debut of coach Victor Sanchez del Amo.
Cordoba moved one step closer to sealing its relegation after a woeful 2-0 loss at home to a modest Elche side, leaving it in last place at nine points from safety with seven rounds to go.
Espanyol forward Sergio Garcia netted his team-high 11th league goal of the season five minutes before halftime for what proved to be the winner with Bilbao unable to turn its superior possession into scoring chances.
Victor Alvarez knocked the ball away from Bilbao’s possession and it fell to Garcia to control with his head before he fired a bouncing strike beyond goalkeeper Gorka Iraizoz.
Sociedad’s Xabi Prieto converted a penalty kick after Jose Rodriguez blocked Sergio Canales’ pass with his arm for the 33rd-minute opener.
The visitors pulled level in the 40th after Ion Ansotegi handled the ball in the box, giving Lucas Perez the chance to finish off his own penalty after goalie Geronimo Rulli had blocked his initial spot kick.
Chory Castro’s spectacular volley to lash in Canales’ long cross restored Sociedad’s advantage in the 57th, only for Jose Verdu to head in Deportivo’s second goal with 12 to play.
Deportivo rose out of the drop zone despite staying winless in nine rounds, while Sociedad remained in 11th.
Elche moved three points from danger. It also had Alvaro Niguez carted off after receiving a head knock.
The league’s top five teams all played on Saturday, when Barcelona saw its league lead trimmed to two points by Real Madrid after the pacesetters stumbled to a 2-2 draw at Sevilla.