Thierry Henry: Why this Leeds goal was so special
By Alex Stevens
Thierry Henry has revealed that his FA Cup goal in 2012 against Leeds was his favourite of his dazzling career.
The Arsenal legend and record scorer returned to the club where he made his name as one of the outstanding players of his generation for a second spell in the January transfer window five years ago.
The striker, then 34, was on a two-month loan from New York Red Bulls as he answered a call from the Gunners to pep up their front line midway through the campaign.
Henry made the perfect return to Arsenal when he emerged as a substitute to score a late winner in their 1-0 win over Leeds in the FA Cup third round clash at Emirates Stadium.
The 124-times France international, back in Arsenal colours for the first time since he left for Barcelona in 2007, scored his 225th goal for the club with 12 minutes remaining amid emotional scenes.
Subscribe to Football Insider TV now
“My strike against Leeds when I came back to London in 2012 was my favourite goal for Arsenal,” Henry wrote in his Sun column on Sunday. “That one was personal. It won’t go down in FA Cup history but it was the first time I scored as a fan.
“You know, I wasn’t meant to come back and I came back. I wasn’t meant to play, I played. I wasn’t meant to score, I scored.
“It was so emotional. It wasn’t about technique or about the score, it was what it meant to me.
“Usually when I scored I didn’t show much uncontrolled emotion. I was accused of being cold. Sometimes that was because I was annoyed because I’d missed a chance or because we were losing.
“But that day, we could have been 10-0 down and I would have still celebrated like that. I was a lunatic. I had scored as a fan. Everyone dreams of that.
“That goal was funny: it was my 12th game against Leeds and my 12th goal against them. It was early 2012, I wore No 12 and there was 12 minutes to go when I scored. Some things are meant to be.”
Henry electrified the Arsenal faithful during his two spells at the club, which were spread over 13 years.
He scored 226 goals in 368 appearances during what was a golden age under Arsene Wenger, and won two Premier League titles as well as three FA Cup medals.
The retired striker is now a high profile Sky Sports pundit as well as the assistant manager of the Belgium national team.
In other Leeds news, Monk has made a shock transfer revelation after meeting with new owner Andrea Radrizzani.