HEN: I’LL BE PASTA MASTER! Striker vows to sign off in style against Italians
THIERRY HENRY will wing his way back to New York in 48 hours’ time – but he insists he’s fully focused on mauling Milan first.
Arsenal striker Henry plays the last match of his six-week loan spell with the Gunners in tonight’s Champions League last-16 tie.
He will return to the New York Red Bulls with the words of Gunners boss Arsene Wenger ringing in his ears – that he’ll be one of the fittest players in Major League Soccer.
And, after two winning goals for Arsenal in the FA Cup and Premier League, he has his eye on helping his former club in one more competition.
Henry said: “I have not thought about going back to New York – I just want to help Arsenal.
“I am an Arsenal player for one more game.
“Milan is Milan. It is another type of game and it is never easy to win away from home in the Champions League.
“All we wanted was some momentum from the game with Sunderland, to try to get wins and clean sheets.
“We will see after the last game against Milan how the last six weeks were for me.”
Wenger claims he will go all-out to score at the San Siro – and claims he isn’t worried about his shaky defence.
Arsenal won 2-0 in Milan in 2008 as they became the first English team to claim victory against the Milan giants, who top Serie A.
Wenger said: “The European system is organised to reward audacious action away from home. When you go away in the Champions League, you have to score.
“AC Milan are always a team who, the way they are built, can score at any time.
“You always have to push for a goal when you play away in the first leg because it gives you a cushion.
“The best way to score is play in an offensive way and we will try to do that.”
Defender Thomas Vermaelen is set to play in his preferred position in the centre after Per Mertesacker was ruled out with a twisted ankle.
And the Belgian can’t wait, saying: “It is a big game – an important one too – so it’s a good one to look forward to. For everybody it will be special.
“Milan have a great history and they have won it a few times. They still have some good players and they are a solid team. They are also doing well in Serie A.
“I think it is probably the best game of the round and a lot of people will be watching.”
Milan boss Massimiliano Allegri has vowed his team won’t make the same mistakes they did last season against Tottenham. The Rossoneri went out at this stage of the competition 12 months ago when a late Peter Crouch strike handed Spurs a 1-0 victory at the San Siro.
Allegri said: “Technically we have to play well and we know that there are certain errors from last season which should not be repeated.
“Last year we made one mistake late in the game with Tottenham. Against Arsenal we must be patient, otherwise you complicate everything.
“In the second match against Tottenham, we deserved to win and go through but we didn’t.
“Van Persie and Henry are very dangerous players, so we have to be aware of them.”
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