Arsenal finally went to a rival top four side in the Premier League and put in a performance to be proud of, coming away with a 2-0 victory at reigning champions Manchester City, but one of the best things about it was one small moment from Santi Cazorla.
Arsene Wenger’s diminutive playmaker was the undisputed man of the Match at the Etihad Stadium, where he scored the opener from the spot and created the second goal from a free-kick for Oliver Giroud to head home, effectively killing the game.
It felt like a corner-turning performance by Arsenal, only the next few weeks will determine if it really was, but they showed what has become an uncharacteristic discipline in defence to stifle Manchester City’s creative powers and broke dangerously where possible.
Cazorla was central to everything good that the Gunners did on Sunday and made a huge statement to his manager that the return of £42million Mesut Özil from injury should not mean he gives up his place as the central creator in the Arsenal team.
The second goal was sorely needed for the visitors, as Coty came out all guns firing after half-time and it looked for a long time that a clean sheet for the north Londoners was not going to happen.
This explains why Cazorla was so happy after his lofted free-kick was headed in by Giroud, the France international exploiting some Arsenal-esque set-piece defending.
One eagle-eyed television camera operator had the wherewithal to keep his lens focused on the 30-year-old, capturing him watching the pass sail into the box, see his teammate nod it in and then proceed to do a silly little dance before being congratulated by compatriot Nacho Monreal. Watch it below…
While it is always nice to see someone’s joy effect them so much that they feel compelled to do a spritely jig, we’re pretty sure Cazorla should never do it again. Great win for Arsenal though.
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