By Chris Harris

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain says it's "a pleasure" to share a pitch with a world-class talent like Santi Cazorla.

The Spanish playmaker was in irresistible form at Reading on Monday night, scoring his first hat-trick in Arsenal's colours and setting up a goal for Theo Walcott as Arsène Wenger's side cruised to a 5-2 win.

Cazorla has been one of Arsenal's stand-out performers since arriving from Malaga in the summer and Oxlade-Chamberlain is one of his biggest fans.

"It’s a pleasure for anyone to get to play with a player like Santi," he told Arsenal Player. "You can give him the ball in tight situations and you can trust him to get out of them and create things.

"We’ve been working on getting him and Jack [Wilshere] in behind the lines, between the defence and the midfield and picking up little pockets of space. When you get the ball to them two in those positions, especially Santi, he can create things - shots on target, goals and assists.

"We know it’s important to get him [the ball] around there. He’s a brilliant player and he showed it tonight with three crucial goals. He deserves everything he gets. He’s doing really well for us this season and hopefully he can keep going."

Cazorla is one of the most diminutive players in Wenger's squad so his second goal on Monday night - a diving header from Lukas Podolski's cross - was a real collector's item.

"I think he was a bit surprised with that one," smiled Oxlade-Chamberlain, "but he’s a quality player so I wouldn’t put it past him to score another one this season.

"We’ve got players in the team that can produce things - Jack in midfield and Santi and Mikel, [as well as] Lukas up front. Theo was a different dynamic up front today and I thought that worked really well.

"We’ve got quality in the side to make things happen when we’re all playing well together. We’ve had a really good week of training - I’ve noticed that. The boys have been gelling well and playing good football and it showed tonight.

"We know that if we compete, do the right things and trust our game, we’ve got enough ability in the squad to beat anyone and play free-flowing football wherever we play."

Watch the full interview with Alex on Arsenal Player now

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18 Dec 2012