‘At Highbury I could do what the f*** I wanted that’s why I scored iconic goal’

Arsenal legend Thierry Henry explained his iconic goal against Manchester United was because he "could do what the f*** I wanted".

Of the 175 goals Henry scored in 258 games for the Gunners, few stand out in the memory more than the one in an October 2000 Premier League clash with the Red Devils at Highbury.

He flicked the ball up with his back to goal and without a second thought, volleyed it into the top corner. It was the solitary strike of the match and worthy of winning any game.

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Henry called back to it as he explained how to best play with freedom on the pitch in an episode of Kickin' It for CBS Sports. "I know it sounds stupid, but don't be scared to make mistakes," he said.

"That's what stops a lot of players. If you don't try to make mistakes you never succeed. Like I would give you the goal against Man United.

"So many times people said 'why did you do that?' – because I knew at Highbury I could do what the f*** I wanted."

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It wasn't easy for Henry to get into that confident position, though. He went on to discuss the turning point of his Arsenal career, which came after a 5-1 win over Middlesbrough during his first season with the club

Marc Overmars scored a hat-trick and Dennis Bergkamp grabbed a brace, with Henry an unused substitute as he also battled Kanu and Davor Suker for a place in the team.

"We won 5-0 and I didn’t come on and I’m like what am I supposed to do at that point," Henry recalled. "Always remember, went back in the dressing room, nobody looked at me, nobody cares, we won.

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"I’m on the train back thinking 'how can I play?'. So I went back home and tried to beat all of them at everything they were doing. I was trying to match them in everything they were doing."

Henry ultimately earned the admiration of top dog Bergkamp. "I woke up every morning and the best respect I could show the guy was show him that I’m better than him every day in training," he continued.

"Then he gave me the key, it took a while. Two-and-a-half years, three years. But I was showing him I could take the key every day in training."

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