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'I never thought I would score the winning goal' - Thierry Henry after making dream Arsenal return against Leeds United

The Gunners legend scored the only goal in a tight game at the Emirates, and admits he was surprised at his success in netting the winner so soon after his arrival

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry has admitted that he never imagined scoring the winner in his side's FA Cup clash with Leeds United.

The former France international came on as a second-half substitute to mark his return to the club with the only goal of the game in the 78th minute.

"I never thought I would play for Arsenal again, and I never thought I would score the winning goal tonight," the forward told ESPN after the match.

He responded modestly when told of his welcome, responding to suggestions that he returned as a hero by adding: “That wasn’t the plan. I just wanted to come and help the team everyday.”

On his trademark curled finish to put the Gunners through, he added: "With time, you know that one opportunity is very important.

"The team played well. It’s never an easy tie. They [Leeds] came to defend and the fans were frustrated sometimes, but we did the job.

"You never know when you will have a second one, if you have a second. You have to make sure you take it, and I took it well."

The 1-0 win sends Arsenal through to the fourth round of the FA Cup, where they will take on Premier League rivals Aston Villa at the Emirates Stadium.

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry was humbled by the reception he received at the Emirates after scoring the winning goal against Leeds after appearing as a substitute.

 

The former France international ran in behind right back Zac Thompson to receive a through ball from Alex Song, before curling his finish expertly round keeper Andy Lonergan to score the only goal in a 1-0 victory.

 

The Gunners were comfortable defensively thoughout the tie but created little up front, and the returning forward celebrated his arrival by saving his team from a troublesome replay at Elland Road.

 

“I never thought I would play for Arsenal again, and I never thought I would score the winning goal tonight,” the forward told ESPN after the match.

 

He responded modestly when told of his welcome, responding to suggestions that he returned as a hero by adding: “That wasn’t the plan. I just wanted to come and help the team everyday. ”

 

On his trademark curled finish to put the Gunners through, he added: “With time, you know that one opportunity is very important.

 

“You never know when you will have a second, if you have a second one. You have to make sure you take it, and I took it well.”

 

“The team played well. It’s never an easy tie. They [Leeds] came to defend and the fans were frustrated sometimes, but we did the job.”

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