New York Red Bulls grab draw with Arsenal in London
Published Saturday, July 30, 2011 10:49 AM by Shane Barrow
After how the EPL sides handled the MLS sides in the states the last couple of weeks, nobody expected New York to get a result at The Emirates against mighty Arsenal. After receiving a hero's return at Arsenal, Thierry Henry exposed his former team's defensive deficiencies in helping the New York Red Bulls win the Emirates Cup with a 1-1 draw Sunday.
Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger wanted Henry to play for the Gunners in the last five minutes, but the Frenchman instead played a key part in Red Bull's late equalizer. "I wanted him to play the last five minutes for us and he was desperate to do it," Wenger said. "The referee stubbornly turned it down."
Wenger also tried to convince referee Kevin Friend at half time when Arsenal was leading after Robin van Persie's header. "He said the rules are adamantly against it because one given player can't play for two teams in the same game," Wenger said.
Instead, Arsenal crumbled just like 24 hours earlier when a 2-0 lead was thrown away against Boca Juniors to draw 2-2. Henry threaded the ball through to Roy Miller, whose cross was bundled into his own goal by Arsenal's Kyle Bartley in the 84th.
The draw ensured that the Red Bulls, who have won just one of their last nine Major League Soccer matches, captured the Emirates Cup. Hans Backe's side topped the four-team standings after beating Paris Saint-Germain 1-0 Saturday.
So while Arsenal was booed off the pitch -- despite only losing out on a preseason trophy -- the 33-year-old Henry was cheered by the home fans.
"They say great clubs never die, it looks like great players never die as well, because Thierry showed us today he is still top quality with his feet and with his head," Wenger said. "He has still shown class for the goal, his pass was fantastic ... Overall he was the only dangerous player in their team."
But Henry's return served as a reminder that Arsenal has not captured a trophy since the French striker left the club in 2007 after eight years when he won the Premier League twice. Now Arsenal can't even win the trophy it created.
"You have to put the (boos) into perspective," Wenger said. "I can understand it but I don't think we need to put any extra pressure on us now." Arsenal's quest for a first Premier League title since 2004 begins in two weeks against Newcastle.
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