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Santi Cazorla Scores Amazing Last-Gasp Derby Winner As Arsenal Fans Watch Behind Their Tears

Santi Cazorla Scores Amazing Last-Gasp Derby Winner As Arsenal Fans Watch Behind Their Tears

"Santi Cazorla would still walk into Arsenal's match-day squad."

Alex Reid

Alex Reid

Santi Cazorla has kept up his incredible form this season with a spectacular, injury-time winner in a derby for Al Sadd.

The 36-year-old's wonderful control and volley gave his side a 3-2 win over rivals Al Arabi on Monday - and left Arsenal fans wishing the gloriously gifted Spaniard had never left the club.

Cazorla has 12 goals and 10 assists in just 20 games this season. And while some may point out it's 'only' the Qatar Stars League, the midfielder also showed sublime form for Villarreal in La Liga from 2018 to 2020, leading to his recall to the Spain national team.

His latest effort was vintage Santi Cazorla: perfectly controlling a wayward defensive header and firing past the goalkeeper in one fluid motion, just as the clock ticked over to 92 minutes. Cool as you like.

It's a heart-warming comeback story as one of football's nicest guys has returned from a series of harrowing tendon injuries, which required eight operations and ended his Arsenal career.

But all the surgery and skin grafts later, and Cazorla has incredibly discovered his best form. After initially only joining up with boyhood club Villarreal to train in 2018, he was re-signed and ended up scoring 22 goals across two remarkable seasons.

The famously two-footed Spain star never relied on his pace, so it's perhaps no surprise he still looks as good as ever despite turning 36 in December.

For Arsenal fans, it's a case of what could have been. Cazorla took part in 180 games for the Gunners and played a key role in two back-to-back FA Cup wins.

But it could have been so much more if the versatile attacking midfielder hadn't been struck down with injuries, eventually leading to him leaving the club three years ago.

In fact, many Arsenal fans are pointing out that he could still be doing a job for the club and might be more effective now than, say, new recruit Willian.

At least all Gunners supporters can be glad that Cazorla's career didn't end on the low note of retirement due to a spate of injuries, as appeared inevitable before his miraculous recovery over the last three seasons.

But a lot of them also wished they'd seen this dazzling late-career form in the red-and-white of Arsenal, rather than for Villarreal and Al Sadd.

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Topics: Al Sadd, Football, Santi Cazorla, Arsenal