Henry expected Arsenal comeback

Former Arsenal captain Thierry Henry knew full well not to write off his old team-mates as Barcelona looked to secure a place in the Champions League semi-finals.

The holders were in complete control following a blistering start and a second-half double from Zlatan Ibrahimovic in last night's first leg at Emirates Stadium.

However, the Gunners fought back through Theo Walcott before a late penalty from captain Cesc Fabregas, who played on despite a suspected broken leg, gave the Barclays Premier League side hope when they travel to the Nou Camp next week.

Henry - who scored a club-record 226 goals in 380 appearances for Arsenal before leaving in the summer of 2007 - always felt Arsene Wenger's youngsters would rise to the challenge.

"I was not surprised by what the Arsenal team did, not with these fans," said Henry.

"I have said it so many times that it always helps. They can be 2-0 down at home and if your fans start to boo you then it's a different story - but the Arsenal fans were helping them, trying to make them come back in the game.

"However, I am not surprised at all because I know what can happen here."

Henry added: "It did not look like they could come back, but at the end of the day they did it.

"That shows a team which is in the quarter-finals are difficult to beat.

"We need to be aware of a team like that.

"We do not concede a lot of goals, but they scored two against us, so that is a sign."

Henry, 32, came on for the second half, and was given a warm reception by the home supporters, many of whom stayed to clap him off at the full-time whistle.

"There was a lot of emotion and there was a special moment at the end," the France international told reporters.

"Like we always do as a team at Barcelona, we went to say thank you to our fans.

"What happened after that, I never imagined. I would like to thank the Arsenal fans for the welcome back.

"I have great love for the club and I think the fans still love me. It was amazing."

Henry - who helped guide the Gunners through one of the most successful spells in their history - makes no secret of his affection for Arsenal.

"Now I play for another team and will compete for another team, but it reminded me of the bond, the love I have with the club and the fans," Henry, signed by Wenger from Juventus in 1999, told Arsenal TV Online.

"The reception when I came on and then at the end made it difficult for me to leave the pitch.

"I did not want to leave the pitch and the fans did not stop clapping, it was amazing and no words can describe the feelings I had.

"I just love the club, everything I did was tremendous and that is all still there."

Henry believes Arsenal could yet still have a say in the title race, with top two Manchester United and Chelsea to play each other this weekend.

"The Premier League race is tight, but even after the defeats to Manchester United and Chelsea I was saying they can win it - and I still think they can," the Barcelona forward insisted.

"As I always said in my time here, as long as it is mathematically possible, then you have a chance."

News
Russell Brand was in typically combative form during his promotional interview with Newsnight's Evan Davis
peopleReports that Brand could stand for Mayor on an 'anti-politics' ticket
News
The clocks go forward an hour at 1am on Sunday 30 March
news
Arts and Entertainment
The Doctor finds himself in a forest version of London in Doctor Who episode 'In the Forest of the Night'
TVReview: Is the Doctor ever going stop frowning? Apparently not.
News
Voluminous silk drawers were worn by Queen Victoria
newsThe silk underwear is part of a growing trade in celebrity smalls
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
footballMatch report: Real fight back to ruin Argentinian's debut
News
Candidates with surnames that start with an A have an electoral advantage
newsVoters are biased towards names with letters near start of alphabet
Arts and Entertainment
Isis with Lord Grantham (Hugh Bonneville)
TV
Arts and Entertainment
Jay James
TVReview: Performances were stale and cheesier than a chunk of Blue Stilton left out for a month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news: musician splits with manager after police investigate assault claims

Wilko Johnson, now the bad news

Former Dr Feelgood splits with manager after police investigate assault claims
Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands ahead of the US midterm elections

Mark Udall: The Democrat Senator with a fight on his hands

The Senator for Colorado is for gay rights, for abortion rights – and in the Republicans’ sights as they threaten to take control of the Senate next month
New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

New discoveries show more contact between far-flung prehistoric humans than had been thought

Evidence found of contact between Easter Islanders and South America
Cerys Matthews reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of Dylan Thomas

Cerys Matthews on Dylan Thomas

The singer reveals how her uncle taped 150 interviews for a biography of the famous Welsh poet
DIY is not fun and we've finally realised this as a nation

Homebase closures: 'DIY is not fun'

Homebase has announced the closure of one in four of its stores. Nick Harding, who never did know his awl from his elbow, is glad to see the back of DIY
The Battle of the Five Armies: Air New Zealand releases new Hobbit-inspired in-flight video

Air New Zealand's wizard in-flight video

The airline has released a new Hobbit-inspired clip dubbed "The most epic safety video ever made"
Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month - but can you stomach the sweetness?

Pumpkin spice is the flavour of the month

The combination of cinnamon, clove, nutmeg (and no actual pumpkin), now flavours everything from lattes to cream cheese in the US
11 best sonic skincare brushes

11 best sonic skincare brushes

Forget the flannel - take skincare to the next level by using your favourite cleanser with a sonic facial brush
Paul Scholes column: I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Phil Jones and Marcos Rojo

Paul Scholes column

I'm not worried about Manchester United's defence - Chelsea test can be the making of Jones and Rojo
Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

Frank Warren: Boxing has its problems but in all my time I've never seen a crooked fight

While other sports are stalked by corruption, we are an easy target for the critics
Jamie Roberts exclusive interview: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Jamie Roberts: 'I'm a man of my word – I'll stay in Paris'

Wales centre says he’s not coming home but is looking to establish himself at Racing Métro
How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?