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Arsenal's Henry hails 'unforgettable' return

"I will never forget this night," said Thierry Henry after marking a memorable return to Arsenal FC with the Gunners' winning goal against Leeds United AFC in the FA Cup third round.

Thierry Henry celebrates after scoring on his second Arsenal debut against Leeds
Thierry Henry celebrates after scoring on his second Arsenal debut against Leeds ©AFP

Thierry Henry made a memorable return to Arsenal FC by scoring the only goal of his side's FA Cup third round victory against Leeds United AFC.

The 34-year-old Frenchman, back at his old club on a two-month loan spell from Major League Soccer side New York Red Bulls, came on as a second-half substitute with the match still goalless and, with 12 minutes to go, broke the deadlock with only his fifth touch of he ball.

Arsenal had started the match well, Aaron Ramsey impressing in midfield and firing over the bar on three occasions. Mikel Arteta also came close from distance, while Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain sent two long-range efforts whistling just wide in the second half of a one-sided contest. However, with the match seemingly destined for a replay at Elland Road, Henry collected Alex Song's through ball before coolly rolling back the years and rolling in his 227th Gunners goal.

"I never thought I'd play for Arsenal again or score a winner," said an emotional Henry. "I love the club, and hopefully I can do more. I hope it won't be my last goal. The feeling I had when I scored was amazing. I rejoined the club as a fan. When I joined first time I wasn't a fan but now I am so now I know what it's like for a player of Liverpool or Manchester United when they play for the clubs they supported as a boy. I will never forget this night."

"When he gets in those positions he has shown that he is still very dangerous," said Arsenal coach Arsène Wenger. "There are a lot of people in the dressing room tonight. And there is a lot of euphoria because everybody is so happy for Thierry."

Arsenal will host Aston Villa FC in the FA Cup fourth round on 28 January.