Cazorla offers Arsenal relief

A deadly double from Santi Cazorla saw Arsenal return to winning ways as they edged out Aston Villa 2-1 at Emirates Stadium.

Last Updated: 24/02/13 at 09:44 Post Comment

Santi Cazorla: Struck early and late to help Arsenal edge out Aston Villa

Santi Cazorla: Struck early and late to help Arsenal edge out Aston Villa

More of the games that matter

Upgrade in minutes or watch with a NOW TV Day Pass.

On the back of a tough week which had seen the Gunners crash out of the FA Cup and suffer a UEFA Champions League battering at the hands of Bayern Munich, one very early effort from Cazorla and one very late one, after Andreas Weimann had levelled for the visitors, offered welcome relief to Arsene Wenger and his troops - who are now just one point adrift of the top four.

Watched by owner Stan Kroenke, making a rare visit to north London, Arsenal started well. Jack Wilshere capitalised on a poor backpass and raced at goal, but the midfielder fired straight at Brad Guzan.

Cazorla then lifted the quiet atmosphere inside the Emirates with Arsenal's opener in the sixth minute. Nathan Baker blocked Cazorla's initial shot after some good work by Wilshere, but the Spaniard made no mistake with his second effort, slotting past Guzan with a beautiful curling effort.

Urged on by an animated Paul Lambert from the touchline, Villa looked to hit straight back. Charles N'Zogbia raced down the right past Thomas Vermaelen and pulled the ball back for Gabriel Agbonlahor but Wojciech Szczesny saved.

Villa's attacks led to a nervous atmosphere inside the Emirates, but Theo Walcott brought them to the edge of their seats with a teasing curler that flew inches over Guzan's goal.

Arsenal's passing was often sloppy and the home fans became annoyed at the Gunners' attempts to pass the ball in to the net. The hosts did produce an impressive move just before the break, though, with Cazorla finding Olivier Giroud, but Guzan was equal to the Frenchman's effort.

Arsenal started to dominate the game again after the break, but again, they were reluctant to shoot on goal, much to the annoyance of the home crowd.

With Arsenal throwing so many players forward, they were left vulnerable at the back. Weimann went on another rampaging counter down the right and crossed for Agbonlahor, but the forward headed wide.

Wenger was forced into a change just after the hour when Abou Diaby hobbled off with another injury. Aaron Ramsey came on in his place.

Villa then stunned the home side by equalising on 68 minutes. Carl Jenkinson failed to clear a long punt down field, the ball made its way to Weimann and he went on a blistering 40-yard run before beating Szczesny with a weak shot.

Wenger rose from his bench and cast a disappointed glare at his team. His troubles nearly worsened soon after when Christian Benteke found space at the back post but Per Mertesacker got in front of the Belgian before he could head on goal.

Guzan saved brilliantly to deny Giroud from point-blank range as Arsenal continued to pile forward, and the Gunners finally got their reward five minutes from time when Nacho Monreal swung the ball into the box and Cazorla converted, much to the relief of Wenger and the home support.

Football365 Facebook Fan Page

The Football365 fan page is a great place to meet like minded people, have football related discussions and make new friends.

More Match Results

Monday, 04 May 2015
20:00
Hull City 1-3 Arsenal Report
Sunday, 03 May 2015
16:00
Tottenham 0-1 Man City Report
13:30
Chelsea 1-0 C Palace Report
Saturday, 02 May 2015
17:30
Man Utd 0-1 W Brom Report
15:00
A Villa 3-2 Everton Report
Liverpool 2-1 QPR Report
S'land 2-1 So'ton Report
Swansea 2-0 Stoke Report
West Ham 1-0 Burnley Report
12:45
Leicester 3-0 Newcastle Report

Footer 365

Barcelona 3-0 Bayern Munich: Lionel Messi double puts Barca in control

Two goals from Lionel Messi helped Barcelona beat Bayern Munich 3-0 in the first leg of the Champions League semi-final.

Graham Taylor rejects claims he was asked to cap number of black players in England side

Graham Taylor has denied claims that the Football Association tried to cap the number of black players when he was in charge of the England team.

Spanish football could be shut down from May 16 over TV rights argument

La Liga faces being shut down from May 16 over an argument between Spain's football federation and the Government.

Mail Box

Coutinho Better Than Cazorla And Cesc...

Philippe Coutinho has outperformed Santi Cazorla AND Cesc Fabregas, while Arsenal need no new signings. We also have mails on Olivier Giroud and shopping lists...

Giroud Is More Than Good Enough...

Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott are integral to Arsenal's title hopes next season. There's also more on handballs, Juventus, and Ronaldo holding Bale back...

© 2015 Sky Ltd. All Rights Reserved A Sky Sports Digital Media company