Thierry Henry Scores Winning Goal In FA Cup Against Leeds On Dramatic Night At Emirates (Video)
Five years after he left the Emirates for the Nou Camp, Thierry Henry once again donned the shirt of Arsenal, coming on in the second half against Leeds to score the winning goal.
Having stroked the ball home ten minutes after entering the fray, Henry, who has signed on loan for the north London club for two months, ran along the touchline, hands out, part laughing, part crying as the emotion of the evening threatened to overcome the Frenchman.
Arsene Wenger, Henry's mentor since their early days together at Monaco, received a hug, while fans chanted his name. The 34-year-old, currently playing out the autumn of his career with the New York Red Bulls, was supported in the stands by David Beckham, himself no stranger to moments of pure theatre on the football field.
"He was already a legend here but he added just a little bit more to the whole story with that goal," said Wenger.
"It was a little bit like a dream. It was a story you would tell young kids if you want to tell them a story about football. Unfortunately it doesn't often happen like that in our game, but it did tonight."
Henry is already Arsenal's all-time leading scorer, with last night's effort increasing his tally to 227.
"In training I have seen that he was sharp and ready to play. With what he has done here, I wouldn't have put him on the pitch if was not ready," Wenger added.
"That would not have been fair but he is a special player and what is good for the club and the young players is that he is a guy who has done it all but still prepares 100%, is motivated and comes with an immense desire to do well.
"He still feels some pressure so he was so pleased to score. He is a proud guy - he doesn't want to disappoint people. It is a kind of a comeback and you want that to be a success when you are a player."
Following the goal, Twitter lit up like a floodlight, with the phrases #Thierry #Henry and #ReturnOfTheKing topping the global trends list for several hours. Fans, friends, players and celebrities queued up to honour the goal, which though not the most spectacular in his career, could certainly be the most magical.
"I came back from holiday 15 days ago" said the veteran striker after the game. "I never thought I was going to play for Arsenal again or score a winner. I don't know what to say. I love the club and I hope I can do more. I hope it won't be the last one. The feeling I had when I scored was amazing."
"I rejoined the club as a fan; [when I joined first time] I wasn't. With one opportunity, it's very important, you don't know if you'll have a second. You have to make sure you take it. I took it well."
Watch Henry score his 227th Arsenal goal: