Arsenal won consecutively for the first time since the 2nd of April as a Santi Cazorla penalty deep in stoppage time gave the Gunners a 2-1 win over Southampton.
Arsene Wenger opted to give debuts to both Shkodran Mustafi in defence with Laurent Koscielny, whilst Lucas Perez started up front in place of Alexis Sanchez, who had impressed there against Watford.
Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain started on the wings and were hoping to convince Wenger to utilise them more often but it was Cazorla who delivered another outstanding performance.
Cazorla on his winning penalty: “I kept calm. I thought if I shot down the middle, the keeper might go to one side.” pic.twitter.com/eCM9UOaJV6
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) 10 September 2016
The Spaniard excelled alongside Granit Xhaka against the Hornets, but the German was rested ahead of Tuesday’s crucial Champions League tie against Paris Saint-Germain, as Francis Coquelin deputised in midfield.
It was a difficult game against a testing Saints team, but Cazorla kept his nerve to win the game for the Gunners, and had a phenomenal overall game.
Santi Cazorla vs #SaintsFC
— EPL Stat Man (@EPLStatman) 10 September 2016
Cazorla turns 32 in December, and the club have already began searching for a long term replacement for the former Villareal man in Paris’s Adrien Rabiot.
The 21-year-old has been enjoying a sensational start to the season, but Cazorla has proved that there is life in the old dog yet, arguably being Arsenal’s best player to date during the 2016/17 campaign.
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) 10 September 2016
Arsene Wenger is known to favour Cazorla, but with his own contract running out at the end of the season, the Frenchman could well leave after over twenty years at the club.
Therefore, whoever replaces Wenger will need to be a fan of Cazorla in order for the player to stay at the Emirates, but if his performances are anything to go by he will not be departing anytime soon.
Callum Connolly, Pundit Arena.