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Monday, February 13, 2012
Henry looks to give Arsenal parting gift

ESPNsoccernet staff

Thierry Henry is aiming to give Arsenal the perfect parting gift by helping the Premier League club to victory over AC Milan in the last sixteen of the Champions League.

Wednesday's first leg at the San Siro will be on-loan Henry's last match for the Gunners before he returns to the New York Red Bulls ahead of the new Major League Soccer season.

The veteran French striker, who played for Arsenal from 1999 to 2007, made a fairytale return to the Gunners, scoring against Leeds in his first game back, rounding off the rout over Blackburn and then bagging an injury-time winner against Sunderland on Saturday, and wants to sign off with a flourish.

But with manager Arsene Wenger still chasing his Champions League dream, the 34-year-old knows he cannot get sucked in by the occasion.

"Will I be emotional? When it comes to Arsenal I am always emotional," Henry told The Sun. "It was an amazing feeling on Saturday. When I was warming up the fans started clapping.

"Where does this goal rank? Of course, some are more special than others. I was just at the end of a great cross but it was me, it was the last minute and it is a great story. But the most important thing are the three points and we can go forward now, with me in the team or not.

"It was so special for me - to be able to celebrate with all the Arsenal fans, who had come such a long way - it really was magical. But now we look ahead to Milan. It's never easy to win away in the Champions League and all we want is to get some momentum. I'm sure the lads want to go all the way."

If Henry is looking for a perfect way to go out, scoring at a ground where he claimed a hat-trick for Arsenal against Inter Milan nine years ago wouldn't be too far off the mark.

"He finished the story of the legend in the championship," Wenger said in reference to Henry's winner against Sunderland on Saturday. "I hope he will add some in the Champions League on Wednesday."

Milan have been eliminated at this stage of the Champions League by English clubs in three of the past four seasons, with Arsenal beating the Italian champions 2-0 at the San Siro in 2008.

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