Henry grabs winner as Arsenal beats Sunderland 2-1

Substitute Thierry Henry grabbed a last-gasp winner in his final

English Premier League match on loan for Arsenal, clinching a 2-1

victory at Sunderland on Saturday.

Arsenal moved above Chelsea into fourth place in the standings

thanks to Henry volleying home a cross from Andrei Arshavin in the

first minute of stoppage time to complete a comeback at the Stadium

of Light.

It was Henry’s third goal since rejoining Arsenal on a

short-term loan deal from the New York Red Bulls, where he will

return after Wednesday’s match against AC Milan in the last 16 of

the Champions League.

”He finished the story of the legend today in the championship.

I hope he will add some in the Champions League on Wednesday,”

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger said.

”But certainly, he got us the three points in a very difficult

game.”

Henry’s club-record 229th goal boosted Arsenal’s chances of

securing Champions League football for another season on a day

Chelsea surrendered fourth place by losing 2-0 at Everton.

The London clubs are level on points and have the same goal

difference, but Arsenal has scored more goals.

”It shows you that they never lose it, these players –

exceptional talent survives,” Wenger said of Henry, who also

scored in the 7-1 win over Blackburn last weekend.

”You have that at the moment with (Ryan) Giggs at Manchester

United and (Paul) Scholes, and Thierry Henry here. It’s just a

luxury to have a player like him on the bench.”

In-form Irish winger James McClean gave Sunderland the lead in

the 70th, taking advantage of a slip by Arsenal defender Per

Mertesacker to run in on goal and shoot past goalkeeper Wojciech

Szczesny.

Mertesacker was forced off having caught his studs in the turf,

and is likely to miss the Milan match, but his replacement scored

the equalizer in the 75th.

Arsenal captain Aaron Ramsey announced his arrival by smashing a

fierce shot in off the post, setting up a frantic last 15

minutes.

Henry did the rest, inflicting a first home defeat on Sunderland

since Martin O’Neill took over as manager at the start of

December.

”It was obviously disappointing to lose the goal, but I have no

complaints about the team whatsoever,” said O’Neill, who was full

of praise for Henry.

”He’s been a terrific player in his time here – and he hasn’t

done too badly second time around as well. But he shouldn’t really

be able to score from a couple of yards out when it is kind of

lobbed into our penalty area.”

The teams meet again at the Stadium of Light in the fifth round

of the FA Cup next weekend.