Spanish midfielder Santi Cazorla, 29, put on a near perfect performance as Arsenal’s came from behind for victory at West Ham United on Thurday. The midfielder, signed from Malaga in 2012, bossed the midfield and created a high number of chances for his side.
The game in east London, however, wasn’t all plain sailing for the league leaders. A frustrating first half finished 0-0, with Arsenal squandering many chances to take the lead. And straight after the interval the Gunners fell behind thanks to a goal from West Ham striker Carlton Cole.
Arsenal and Cazorla, however, responded in due fashion. Notching three goals in fairly quick succession, the Gunners went from desperation to cruise control within eleven second half minutes.
The Arsenal victory will surely put more pressure on West Ham boss Sam Allardyce, and he must be wishing that Santi Cazorla hadn’t produced such an all-round superb performance.
Instrumental throughout, the former Malaga midfielder showed exactly why clubs have splashed out more than £40m for his services. The Gunners’ creative midfielder touched the ball 109 times, more than any other player on the pitch, and recorded a total of 79 passes with a pass success rate of 85%
Furthermore, the Gunners’ number 19 produced an attacking display full of intent. Adopting the attitude of ‘fail once, try again’, Cazorla took a shoot on sight policy, registering eight attempts on goal, which was only a few less than what West Ham in all managed throughout the 90 minutes. With six key passes, three turnovers and one assist, it must rank as one of the Spaniard’s most productive games so far in an Arsenal shirt.
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image: © Ronnie Macdonald