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Henry brace breaks the 100 barrier

Henry hits his century of Premier League goals as Arsenal triumph
Henry hits his century of Premier League goals as Arsenal triumph

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LONDON, England -- Thierry Henry netted his 100th Premier League goal as Arsenal surged five points clear at the top after a 2-0 win over Southampton on Tuesday.

The Frenchman reached the milestone on 31 minutes and sealed the points in the last minute, but Arsenal were never allowed to dictate affairs by a spirited Saints side at Highbury.

Arsenal, who advanced their club record unbeaten start to the league season to 25 games, have 61 points.

On Wednesday, second-placed Manchester United host League Cup finalists Middlesbrough while Chelsea, in third, visit Portsmouth.

Leeds United moved off the bottom and relegated Wolverhampton Wanderers back to the foot of the table with a 4-1 demolition of their fellow strugglers at Elland Road.

Victory ended a run of seven successive defeats for debt-laden Leeds, who were handed another extension last week to solve their financial crisis and avoid going into administration.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger hailed Henry after another night of clinical finishing.

"He's top, top class. He's second in the FIFA rankings for player of the year. He's world-class," said the Frenchman.

Asked if he had had any concerns about the 100-goal mark being a burden for Henry, Wenger replied: "I was not worried at all. You know with him a goal will come."

But Wenger admitted that Henry's second, which came with virtually the last kick of the game, had settled his nerves. "The second goal came very late but it was a relief.

"Southampton played very well and closed us down all over the pitch."

Meanwhile, cash-strapped Leeds gave their long-suffering fans something to celebrate at last.

England striker Alan Smith put the hosts ahead before Wolves's Romanian striker Ioan Viorel Ganea levelled.

Skipper Dominic Matteo restored the hosts' lead shortly before half-time and in the second half James Milner and Australian Mark Viduka, with a 90th minute goal, completed the rout.

"I thought we played some great stuff," said Leeds boss Eddie Gray. "It was nice to see the two front guys (Smith and Viduka) on the scoresheet.

"I'm pleased for the lads. They know it's going to be tough but they are definitely up for the challenge. But I've told them it's only the start."

Leicester goalkeeper Ian Walker was embroiled in controversy again as his own goal handed a 1-1 draw to Bolton and harmed his side's dwindling chances of retaining their Premiership status. Les Ferdinand had given Leicester a 16th-minute lead.

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