Belfast Telegraph

Wenger salutes King Henry

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger hailed the "legend" of Thierry Henry after he came off the bench to snatch a dramatic victory at Sunderland.

The 34-year-old, playing the final Barclays Premier League game of his loan spell from the New York Red Bulls, stabbed home Andrey Arshavin's injury-time cross to claim the points at the Stadium of Light.

"He finished the story of the legend today in the championship. I hope he will add some in the Champions League on Wednesday," he said. "But certainly, he got us the three points in a very difficult game."

That goal alone went much of the way to justifying Wenger's decision to bring Henry back to Emirates Stadium, although the manager joked it might also have come back to haunt him.

He said: "I felt it might haunt me as well because he goes again and people will say, 'Why did he not stay?'. It shows you as well that they never lose it, these players, exceptional talent survives.

Martin O'Neill's men had taken the lead when James McClean took advantage of Per Mertesacker's 70th-minute slip to run in on goal and fire past Wojciech Szczesny, although he could not have known the German had collapsed in agony after catching his studs in the turf.

Mertesacker, who had survived concerted first-half appeals for a penalty, was eventually replaced by Aaron Ramsey, who made his mark within minutes when he blasted home an equaliser off both posts to set up a fascinating final 15 minutes.

For Sunderland boss O'Neill, it was just the third defeat of his 14-game reign with the others coming at Tottenham and Chelsea.

He said: "It was obviously disappointing to lose the goal, but I have no complaints about the team whatsoever.

"The last couple of months, their heart and soul has gone into the game. We are just obviously disappointed to lose from a winning position."


From Belfast Telegraph