Arsenal boss will be relieved as Cazorla admits displeasure with 'intense' friendly tactics

Santi Cazorla was not pleased with the strong-arm tactics of Equatorial Guinea last night.

Spain took on Equatorial Guinea last night in a rather odd, controversial and worrying friendly from the World and European champions.

First of all, what could Spain learn from taking on a team ranked 119th in the world. Secondly, the club was under-fire for playing in a country led by a man who assumed presidency in a military coup and worrying because they scraped a 2-1 win against the lowly former colony.

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We imagine old colonial patriotism played some part in the home team putting in such a strong performance - so obviously they got stuck in, which would have been a real worry for the managers of some of the stars on display.

Including a certain Arsenal boss - Arsene Wenger.

He had two players involved in the friendly - Santi Cazorla and Nacho Monreal.

Cazorla actually scored the opening goal of the game - but he was not happy after the game with the way in which the Equatoguinean players really got stuck in to the Spanish superstars.

In the end the game did turn scrappy, with plenty of bookings and recently returned from injury Real Madrid star Xabi Alonso leaving the pitch injured after a robust challenge.

The Arsenal playmaker said of the rough approach from their rivals:

“It was a tough game. It was very intense and the pitch was not in good condition. The important thing though is that we got the victory, and that will give us confidence. I thought they played with too much intensity. It is true that they are playing Spain, but it is a friendly match.”

Friendly or no friendly - to the home side this was a derby match. Equatorial Guinea was a colony of Spain’s for a long time and a large amount of the players in the team currently play in or have played in Spain - so Cazorla must have known it was always going to be a tough affair.

For the Equatoguinean players this was probably the biggest game of their careers - and they played like it.

Arsene Wenger will just be pleased that Cazorla came through the game unscathed.

image: © Ronnie Macdonald

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