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.
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.
"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.”
“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.
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
It was one of the best individual performances of the season so farJamie 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.
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.
@19SCazorla was definitely our man of the match it was a fantastic performance from him, he scored & made an assist
Delicious. Delightful. Smashing. Just everything I wanted from a perfomance. Santi Cazorla you brilliant little genius. Thank you.
Santi Cazorla was so good today. Won the battle with Silva with and without the ball.
Santi Cazorla absolutely unreal today. Man of the Match award guaranteed.
Everyone was brilliant today, but that was one of the best performances from any midfielder in the PL this season from Cazorla #afc
Fantastic team performance, nobody found wanting but Santi Cazorla was just amazing.
Brilliant Arsenal display today. Cazorla simultaneously head and shoulders below and above everyone else on the pitch.
Absolutely love Cazorla. Favourite player at the club. His footwork is fantastic and the way he spins players is mesmerising.
Big win. Big performance. Cazorla on another planet. #AFC
Cazorla class in midfield