Thierry Henry seals Arsenal home coming with winning goal

Thierry Henry seals Arsenal home coming with winning goal
Published: 10 January 2012 (1991 Views)
The 34-year-old Frenchman, Thierry Henry made the perfect return to Arsenal when he emerged as a substitute to score a late winner in the FA Cup third-round tie against Leeds United.

Henry, back in Arsenal colours for the first time since he left for Barcelona in 2007, scored his 227th goal for the club with 12 minutes remaining amid emotional scenes at Emirates Stadium.

The 34-year-old - back at the club where he was recently honoured with a statue on a two-month loan from New York Red Bulls - had only been on 10 minutes when the magical moment arrived.

Henry took a pass from Alex Song in his stride in the area before steering a composed, angled, right-footed finished tantalisingly out of the reach of Leeds United keeper Andy Lonergan.

It finally broke the stubborn resistance of Leeds and was the signal for an outpouring of emotion as Henry pumped his chest in celebration after racing to hug his mentor Arsene Wenger on the touchline.

Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny raced the length of the field to join the celebrations while Henry later indulged in a spot of impromptu cheerleading as he urged the supporters who worship him to even greater backing for Arsenal in the closing stages.

It was the perfectly scripted finale to a contest that needed Henry's Midas touch against a Leeds side who battled in a manner that did manager Simon Grayson and their magnificent travelling support great credit.

At the final whistle, with the first task of his temporary return to the club completed, Henry raised his arms to the heavens before falling into the arms of his Arsenal colleagues and taking the acclaim of an elated crowd.

Henry's presence, even on the bench, enlivened the stadium when he came out to warm up and later when his name was announced to rapturous applause.

And the 45 minutes that followed only increased the appetite and anticipation for his return as Arsenal dominated but failed to breach a resilient and well-organised Leeds defence.

With leading scorer and captain Robin van Persie rested, attacking duties fell to Andrey Arshavin and Marouane Chamakh, the pair combining in the opening moments only for the Russian to fire wildly over the top.

Sebastien Squillaci then headed narrowly wide and Aaron Ramsey was unable to navigate a way around Lonergan after he was played into the area by Arshavin.

Leeds United's big chance, in a half they spent mainly on the retreat, came when Luciano Becchio found space in the box but shot wastefully off target.

Arsenal's defensive resources have thinned out in the face of mounting injuries - and they were depleted further before the interval when Francis Coquelin pulled up with a hamstring problem and was replaced by Nico Yennaris.

The momentum remained with Arsenal after the break as Lonergan saved well low to his left from Mikel Arteta after the Spaniard was set up by Chamakh, and Arshavin fired across the face of goal after picking up Zac Thompson's misplaced pass.

Henry's increasingly energetic sprinting along the touchline drew a loud reaction from Arsenal's fans and he was finally introduced with 22 minutes left, replacing Chamakh. Theo Walcott also came on for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Henry was given a hero's welcome as he set about the business of attempting to break down a Leeds side proving as stubborn as they had been here at the same stage of the FA Cup last season.

And the moment Arsenal had been waiting for came with 12 minutes left as Henry gathered Song's pass in his stride before sparking scenes of ecstasy on and off the pitch with a perfect finish to set up a fourth-round tie at home against Aston Villa.

Leeds refused to be distracted by the euphoria and almost snatched a replay in the closing stages as Szczesny saved well from substitute Mikael Forssell.

This, however, was Henry's night and Henry's story. Now Arsenal fans will hope he can write fresh chapters before returning to the United States.

- BBC

Tags: Thierry, Henry,
 0

You May Like These Videos

Comments

There are no comments.

Latest stories

Man loses 'Toyota Raum' to robbers

by Simbarashe Sithole | 21 September 2018 | 166 Views

International media stampede to interview Mnangagwa

by Staff Reporter | 21 September 2018 | 211 Views

Brutalising vendors must stop

by Jacob Mafume, MDC National Spokesperson | 21 September 2018 | 162 Views

I doubt if Dabengwa really endorsed Mnangagwa - Mthwakazi activist

by Stephen Jakes | 21 September 2018 | 179 Views

Marc Cayeux gives everyone hope after top ten finish in Cape Town

by Agencies | 21 September 2018 | 105 Views

President Mnangagwa debuts at UNGA

by Bevan Musoko | 21 September 2018 | 156 Views

BREAKING: Harare - Johannesburg Intercape bus in accident, 10 people dead

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 317 Views

Stop unnecessary traveling to cholera affected areas - MIHR

by Stephen Jakes | 21 September 2018 | 121 Views

We need Mthwakazi restoration soon

by Stephen Jakes | 21 September 2018 | 116 Views

Rural development agenda should be on the priority list

by Stephen Jakes | 21 September 2018 | 116 Views

IMF offers to help Zimbabwe clear arrears

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 232 Views

Mugabe's party rejoins Mnangagwa's Zanu-PF

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 237 Views

Streak seeks ZC liquidation

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 140 Views

'Chamisa must not waste time fighting Mnangagwa'

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 246 Views

Chipanga appeal thrown out

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 176 Views

New minister cracks the whip

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 173 Views

Deal decisively with Parly delinquents

by Zvamaida Murwira | 21 September 2018 | 142 Views

Mthuli Ncube faces tough choices

by Lovemore Chikova | 21 September 2018 | 164 Views

Currency reform answer to Zimbabwe's economic woes

by Bongani Ngwenya | 21 September 2018 | 150 Views

Dabengwa ditches Chamisa, endorses Mnangagwa?

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 156 Views

Sibusiso Moyo alive & well

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 140 Views

'Mugabe University not a priority'

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 133 Views

Chamisa battles open rebellion

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 161 Views

Prophet up for pregnant woman rape

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 101 Views

Bulawayo pins hopes on devolution

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 91 Views

Nust shut down

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 145 Views

Zimbabweans want US or Zim dollar only, not SA Rand

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 145 Views

Chamisa's MDC Alliance starts merging into single party

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 94 Views

Vic Falls man hangs self after bar brawl

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 82 Views

Cholera hits Beitbridge

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 81 Views

Cop up for assault

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 52 Views

Gumbura hires Madhuku to challenge delayed trial

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 66 Views

Devolution will develop provinces with natural resources

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 55 Views

Family evicted, dumped in the bush

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 48 Views

Soul Brothers coming to Bulawayo

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 105 Views

Zimbabwean scientist wins Cambridge scholarship

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 54 Views

MDC Alliance activist jailed over arson threats

by Staff reporter | 21 September 2018 | 41 Views