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Thierry Henry goes in on Arsenal star after Bayern Munich defeat

Thierry Henry has criticised an Arsenal star for his defensive lapses against Bayern Munich, which resulted in Kimmich’s goal

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Arsenal legend Thierry Henry
Image credit: Getty Images

The Champions League dream for Arsenal was dashed by Bayern Munich on Wednesday after they were beaten at the Allianz Arena, prompting club legend Thierry Henry to deliver a scathing assessment of defensive lapses that contributed to their defeat.

Following a 2-2 draw in the first leg at the Emirates Stadium, Arsenal succumbed to a 1-0 defeat in the second leg. Joshua Kimmich’s powerful header in the 63rd minute sealed Bayern’s victory, setting up a semi-final clash with Real Madrid.

Criticism was directed at Arsenal winger Gabriel Martinelli for his failure to track Kimmich, allowing the German international to score with a free header. However, Henry, speaking on CBS Sports, shifted the blame to left-back Takehiro Tomiyasu.

Arsenal defendr Tomiyasu

Arsenal defendr Takehiro Tomiyasu (Image credit: Getty Images)

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Henry argued that Tomiyasu’s focus on Leroy Sane left him vulnerable defensively, as Martinelli was forced to cover for him. Highlighting the need for Tomiyasu to close down space and prevent crosses, Henry emphasised the importance of defensive cohesion.

“If I’m the winger there, defending for Tomiyasu, you’re going to see Martinelli defending there on Leroy Sane. I invite you to look at what Tomiyasu does. Martinelli has got to defend, so you (Martinell) are doing his (Tomiyasu’s) job right now, so you go all the way there. Please, stay with Tomiyasu.

“What is Leroy Sane going to do there? You’re looking at him. He can’t score! Close the gap! He can’t score! What is he going to do? He’s not even in the frame. This is where he was, Jamie, I know I’m going far, but he was there (off the pitch), how is he going to score? And Tomiyasu is like this (looking at Sane). Close the gap!”

The loss not only ended Arsenal’s Champions League campaign but also dashed their hopes of qualifying for the revamped FIFA Club World Cup tournament in 2025. With 12 European teams set to participate, Arsenal needed a Champions League victory this season to secure their spot.

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