Santi Cazorla had a mixed performance as Arsenal beat Aston Villa 2-1.
Santi Cazorla enjoyed a mixed evening last night as Arsenal defeated Aston Villa.
He touched the ball more times than any player, and completed more passes than any other Gunner, including the second highest in the final third of the pitch.
Yet the Spaniard still found himself attracting the ire of fans after a piece of slack play allowed Villa to begin an attack which resulted in the home side scoring, putting Arsenal under pressure for the final 15 minutes.
First, here's a look at what he did do well...
Successful passes in the final third:
|Player||Team||Pos||Successful Final Third Passes||Apps||Mins|
|Player||Team||Pos||Total Scoring Att||Apps||Mins|
Yet here's a table Cazorla won't enjoy seeing:
|Player||Team||Pos||Error Lead To Goal||Apps||Mins|
The midfielder has played 90 minutes in the past five consecutive games for Arsenal, but after an eight day rest there is little accounting for tiredness when judging his mistake.
Arsene Wenger will surely forgive the Spaniard, after all the goal did not cost his team. Cazorla will also hope it is out of his system.
To focus solely on the error would be wrong as the tables above show, with Cazorla a key performer and leading the Arsenal team in many areas, also making interceptions.
What he needs to do to lift his game is to ensure his passing, especially in the final third is more cutting. He has just two assists all season.
Save for the two goals against Tottenham and Liverpool this season he is not looking anywhere near as incisive as the last, and Gooners will hope he can find a solution to that. When he is gifting goals to the other team, all the touches in the world won't make up for it.
Clouded by his giving the ball away for the Villa goal, reaction on Twitter to Cazorla's goal was certainly mixed. He will be glad he held his #AskSanti Q&A yesterday rather than today.
Never in doubt. Except for those 30 minutes after Cazorla basically scored an own goal.— Arsenal Repört (@ArsenalReport) January 13, 2014
Apart from their goal, I actually thought Cazorla played quite well overall.— Dan (@CJenko25) January 13, 2014
Cazorla wasn't poor but could of been a lot better. Wilshere MOTM. Gnabry played well. Özil never got outta 3rd gear. #Arsenal— Mesut Ramsey (@Marss_Montana) January 13, 2014
Cazorla has been dreadful, get him off. Worst game he's played.— Dom Hibberd (@DomHibberd) January 13, 2014
Some shocking passing in the 2nd half especially Cazorla. Can't always play good and win so well done lads!! #AFC— Jöe (@joeafc86) January 13, 2014
I didn't think Cazorla had a bad game tbh he bought others into the game & defended well.— Ryan (@RyanClayton_10) January 13, 2014
Cazorla not performing as he did last season on the wing is the one big minus of this season for me... On his day theres few better— AFC_LG (@LGArsenal_) January 13, 2014
Cazorla seems to play better without Özil. Have a gut feeling he has a bit of secondfiddleitis. Probably just me.— peter welch (@petercwelch22) January 13, 2014