Arsenal midfielder Santi Cazorla put in a dominant performance as he utterly controlled the midfield during his side’s 1-0 win over 10-man Newcastle United.
The visitors were reduced to ten men following the dismissal of Aleksandar Mitrovic after just 16 minutes, presenting a tall order for Steve McClaren’s men to hold out.
The Magpies opted to put everybody behind the ball, making it hard for the visitors to break them down, but in doing so allowing Cazorla to control proceedings in the middle of the park.
The former Malaga man was instigating attack upon attack from deep, penetrating the hosts’ compact midfield extremely well and overall put in what can only be described as a passing masterclass.
|Touches||Accurate Passes||Shots||Key Passes||Take-ons||Def Duels Won||Ball Recoveries||Mins Played|
As per the table provided by Opta Stats, Arsenal’s Spanish maestro was everywhere and contributed greatly in a number of key midfield categories.
Going forward, Cazorla tested Newcastle’s Tim Krul with three efforts and created four chances for his teammates via key passes.
Yet, his most impressive contribution was in possession, taking a whopping 147 touches and making 117 accurate passes with a success rate of 92.9%, a superb record considering the sheer quantity of passes made.
For all the Gunners’ attacking intent, the only goal of the game came in somewhat fortuitous circumstances as Fabricio Coloccini deflected a shot into his own net, later being credited as an own goal.
Still, Arsene Wenger’s side won’t mind much as another away victory takes their mind off that shock opening day defeat to West Ham United - and results elsewhere seemingly went their way.