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Henry scores winner on Arsenal return

updated 5:44 PM EST, Mon January 9, 2012
French striker Thierry Henry celebrates after scoring the winner against Leeds on his return to Arsenal.
French striker Thierry Henry celebrates after scoring the winner against Leeds on his return to Arsenal.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • French striker Thierry Henry scores the winning goal on his return for Arsenal
  • Henry comes off the bench to settle Arsenal's third round FA Cup tie with Leeds
  • The 34-year-old has signed a two-month loan deal from the New York Red Bulls
  • Henry says he is speechless at scoring in his first appearance for the club in five years

(CNN) -- Thierry Henry made a sensational scoring return for English club Arsenal as his goal sealed a 1-0 win over Leeds United in the third round of the FA Cup.

The French striker came on as a substitute and sealed the match with a trademark finish after less than ten minutes on the pitch to enhance his legend at the London club still further.

Arsenal's highest ever scorer left the club for Spanish side Barcelona in 2007 and was making his first appearance since sealing a two-month loan move from Major League Soccer side the New York Red Bulls.

The 34-year-old received a huge ovation when he came on a replacement for Moroccan forward Marouane Chamakh in the 68th minute and he found the net ten minutes later.

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He finished emphatically past Leeds goalkeeper Andy Lonergan to send the Emirates Stadium into raptures and register his 227th goal for the club.

I don't know what to say. I love the club and I hope I can do more. The feeling I had when I scored was amazing
Thierry Henry, Arsenal

It sent Arsenal through to the fourth round at the expense of Leeds, who play in the second tier of English football. Arsenal will now face fellow Premier League side Aston Villa in the next round.

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After his perfect return Henry told ESPN: "It's kind of weird. I came back from holiday 15 days ago. 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; before I wasn't. Scoring a goal when you support the team, now I know how some of the guys who played for Liverpool or Man United or Chelsea felt when they scored a goal for the club they support.

"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."

Henry's goal was his 12th in 12 games against Leeds United, who were relegated from the Premier League in 2004.

"I didn't even think about that but I think I will always remember tonight," he said. "When it comes to Arsenal something happens with me, sometimes in a bad way but most of the time in history in a good way."

Henry was named man of the match despite being on the field for just 22 minutes. He added: "I think it's a joke, but I'll take it."

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger added: "You could see Thierry brought his class but also how much it means to him to come on and make the difference. It was something you couldn't even predict before the game.

"It's great that he's back here and got the goal that qualifies us. You see that when he gets in these kind of positions, we've seen it so many times, him finishing at the right moment. It looks easy but it's not."

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