Arsenal climbed back to the top of the Premier League with a comfortable 2-1 victory at Aston Villa in what continues to be a closely contested title race. Here are 3 things that we learned from the match.
1. Santi Cazorla is the key for Arsenal
Mesut Ozil may have been the marquee signing this summer, but it is last summer’s signing Santi Cazorla who seems to be pulling all the strings for Arsenal. He plays in a slightly deeper role than the German and roams around the field looking for the ball, always eyeing a pass. He completed 79 out of 89 attempted passes last night, and even though one of the failed attempts led to Villa’s goal, the Spaniard looked busy all night.
He made his presence defensively felt also with 3 successful tackles, 2 interceptions and 4 clearances- Ozil didn’t even register in any of those parameters, suggesting that the Spaniard is not just about making that incisive pass, but also working his socks off for the team when it is needed. Going forward, Ozil may get the headlines but Cazorla is going to be more crucial to Arsenal’s title challenge. (Stats as per squawka)