Aitor Karanka described his compatriot, Santi Cazorla, as “impossible” to stop after Arsenal’s 2-0 victory against Middlesbrough.
Speaking to BT Sport having seen his Middlesbrough team comprehensively outclassed by the Arsenal, Karanka highlighted the pointlessness of trying to stop a team containing Cazorla, Özil and Alexis.
After a difficult couple of games, the FA Cup 5th round tie saw Santi back to his imperious best.
Bossing things from his deep lying midfield position, the Boro midfield just couldn’t get near the Asturian magician. The only thing that was missing from Cazorla’s game today, who also captained Arsenal for the first time, was a goal.
However, it was Santi’s pass which opened the Boro’ defence up and allowed Kieran Gibbs to cross for Olivier Giroud’s opening goal.
Once Giroud had scored a wonderful volley to put the game beyond Boro’, it was a question of damage limitation for the visitors.
For Cazorla and Özil, it was a question of who could enjoy themselves the most and, despite an impressive display from the ever-more powerful German, I reckon it was the Spaniard who took the honours.
Yeah, I know, of course I do.
When Cazorla did find himself in a tight spot, which wasn’t often on what amounted to a Sunday stroll in the park, his ability to play off either foot enabled him to simply spin out of trouble and find a pass.
Seeing Santi in this kind of form, form that- as the Arsenal player of the month awards will tell you- has lasted a couple of months, makes me wonder why it’s taken an injury crisis to play the little maestro there.
Whatever the reasons, I think we can all be glad he’s there now!