By Chris Harris

It's not often that the star performer gets to watch the show, but that's exactly what happened to Thierry Henry on Saturday.

After two special goals and just over an hour on the pitch, Arsenal's captain was substituted to a standing ovation from all four corners of the ground. Henry's early departure helped him conserve energy for Wednesday's trip to Turin and also allowed him a front-row view as Arsenal completed an emphatic 5-0 win against Aston Villa.

"It was nice to watch it," he said afterwards. "I was just out there on the bench and I really enjoyed some of the moves we did in the second half.

"The goal from Robin [van Persie] was typical of him, you knew what he was going to do but he still made it happen. I also liked the goal from Abou Diaby because [Emmanuel] Adebayor could have tried to do something on his own but he passed the ball and it worked well for the team.

"It was nice, I think we kept our focus after the Juventus game on Tuesday. It was important to get the three points, and obviously it was even more important after we saw the other results [Tottenham and Bolton both lost].

"Overall I thought we controlled the game and it was important for Robin to get on the scoresheet and Abou also after he has had so many opportunities to score."

Some of those watching at Highbury might have felt that Arsenal's performance was close to footballing perfection. Henry disagreed. Impressive though the home side were, their captain believes there is plenty of room for improvement.

"You always try to aim for it but I don't think anyone can reach perfection. Even when you win a game 5-0 there is always bad stuff that happens in the game, so that's the kind of thing I think about when I go home.

"For example, in the second half we sometimes forgot about defending because there were a couple of chances Jens had to save. I always try to think of stuff we could do better, it keeps you on your toes."

When Arsenal do get it right, you fear for the team on the receiving end.

7/2 - Arsenal to win the 2005/06 UEFA Champions League

Copyright 2017 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to as the source
Chris Harris 3 Apr 2006