By Nik Brumsack

Santi Cazorla produced a midfield masterclass in Arsenal’s superb 2-0 victory at Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.

The diminutive playmaker has excelled over the last six weeks, delivering hardworking, creative and at times spellbinding performances with consistency.

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But was his display at Etihad Stadium his best in an Arsenal shirt? Here’s what his team-mates, Arsenal fans, former players, bloggers and pundits thought.

THIERRY HENRY

"He controlled that midfield. To come and play the way he did here at the Etihad Stadium was outstanding. What a player. I said before the game that people were focusing on Sanchez but at the moment, Cazorla is the guy that makes the team tick.” 

AARON RAMSEY

“Santi's a little magician on the pitch. You saw him out there so many times, how he wriggles out of certain situations, and he had a very good game. We’re delighted for him and hopefully he can continue his form as well.

Aaron watches on as Santi scores from the spot
Aaron watches on as Santi scores from the spot

ARSENE WENGER

“He is a good example for young players, he shows you how important it is to be two footed in the middle of the park - it’s a vital quality for a midfielder today - and he does that very well.” 

JAMIE REDKNAPP

“He is not a big player, but he has the heart of a lion and showed his bravery by getting on the ball. For me, it was one of the best individual performances of the season so far.”

Santi celebrates at Etihad Stadium
Santi celebrates at Etihad Stadium

TREVOR SINCLAIR

“I am a big fan of his because he plays the game the way it is supposed to be played - he is so creative and fearless on the ball, which means he is constantly trying things.”

ADRIAN CLARKE

It was one of the best individual performances of the season so far

Jamie Redknapp

“This was Arsenal’s best team performance of the campaign, but I also think we witnessed the best all-round individual display too - and that was from Santi Cazorla… his midfield magic shone brightest and he bossed that part of the pitch with some seriously silky skills and high-class passing.”

ARSENAL BLOGGER, GOONERHOLIC

Still salivating about Santi Cazorla's performance on Sunday? Has he played better for us? A tough call to make, so good a player has he been for us. He hit the ground running when signed in 2012. In early September we went to Anfield and beat Liverpool. Santi and Lukas Podolski assisted each other and scored the goals that earned a memorable 2-0 victory. We knew we had ourselves a proper footballer.

Scoring his first Arsenal goal in September 2012
Scoring his first Arsenal goal in September 2012

So to December, and a rare Santi hat-trick in a 5-2 win at Reading, including a sumptuous diving header. A match he dominated from start to finish. Last season, his second at Arsenal, saw him often starting on the left, but he remained a prolific provider of chances. He will forever be remembered for his most vital goal, on the biggest stage in the FA Cup Final, that kick-started our recovery from two down to win.

For me though Sunday has the edge. A long overdue win away to a major rival owed so much to Santi who started most of his good work in the defensive third, but finished it in the attacking third. He contributed a goal, an assist, and a midfield masterclass. Thank you Santi.

TWITTER

@_nighttrap
@19SCazorla was definitely our man of the match it was a fantastic performance from him, he scored & made an assist

@AAllenSport
Delicious. Delightful. Smashing. Just everything I wanted from a perfomance. Santi Cazorla you brilliant little genius. Thank you.

@ArsenalColumn
Santi Cazorla was so good today. Won the battle with Silva with and without the ball.

@GoonerTalk
Santi Cazorla absolutely unreal today. Man of the Match award guaranteed.

@SamsMatchReport
Everyone was brilliant today, but that was one of the best performances from any midfielder in the PL this season from Cazorla #afc

@arseblog
Fantastic team performance, nobody found wanting but Santi Cazorla was just amazing.

@AngryOfN5
Brilliant Arsenal display today. Cazorla simultaneously head and shoulders below and above everyone else on the pitch.

@ZcottAFC
Absolutely love Cazorla. Favourite player at the club. His footwork is fantastic and the way he spins players is mesmerising.

@dkarbassiyoon
Big win. Big performance. Cazorla on another planet. #AFC

@RealRomfordPele
Cazorla class in midfield

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source
Nik Brumsack 20 Jan 2015