Thierry Henry is arguably the greatest Premier League player of all time.
And Henry had to prove himself against some of the greatest teams that the modern game has ever produced along the way with Jose Mourinho’s Chelsea side proving the perfect example.
Arsenal vs Chelsea (2004/05)
The ‘Special One’ commanded the Blues to one of the finest Premier League seasons of all time in 2004/05, stealing the crown from Arsenal’s iconic ‘Invincibles’ by conceding just 15 goals.
That truly astonishing defensive record remains unmatched in the years since, highlighting the remarkable lengths required to overcome a peak Arsenal side spearheaded by Henry.
And while Chelsea may have come out on top across 38 games, the two Premier League juggernauts couldn’t be separated in their head-to-head-clashes with both matches ending in draws.
Tottenham 1-0 Man City Highlights (Football Terrace)
Henry takes on Chelsea
The meeting at Stamford Bridge proved to be a rather uneventful 0-0 draw, but the initial fixture at Highbury was a real Premier League classic in which Henry dropped a superb performance.
In fact, by way of scoring twice in what concluded as a 2-2 thriller, Henry held the staggering distinction of having notched 13.3% of the league goals that Chelsea conceded that season.
The first came courtesy of a gorgeous left-footed volley inside two minutes, but Henry’s second strike is what we are interested in today because it came via some brilliant quick-thinking.
Henry’s cheeky free-kick tactic
That’s because the World Cup ingeniously decided that the best way to trump the greatest defence in Premier League history would be to catch them unaware by scoring a quick free-kick.
After seemingly gaining permission from the referee, Henry proceeded to leave Chelsea’s legendary back-line shellshocked by slotting the ball into the net while Petr Cech was still stood on his post.
Cue scenes of ecstasy around all four corners of Highbury with Henry dropping a vintage knee-slide celebration and it’s fair to say it was a brilliant moment, so be to sure to rewatch it down below:
They say the most important muscle in football is the brain and few players proved that point better than Henry.
Henry’s footballing brain
Besides, this was one of only two times in the entire 2004/05 season that Chelsea conceded twice in one match, so to think the same player scored both goals is really something to be applauded.
And those with good memories will know that Henry whipped out his free-kick trick more than once for Arsenal because he had actually done the same thing against Aston Villa the year before.
However, despite being the greatest defence that the Premier League has ever seen, it goes to show that you can only ever do so much when you’re coming up against an icon like Henry.