Henry hat trick as Arsenal thrash Leicester

LONDON, Reuters

French striker Thierry Henry scored a hat trick on Tuesday as Arsenal romped to a 6-1 home win against Leicester City to consolidate second place in the English premier league.

The win put Arsenal on 38 points, five behind champions Manchester United, who were playing at Aston Villa in a match starting an hour later. They were 0-0 at halftime.

Henry lit up a slow first half at Highbury with an outstanding 34th minute goal, latching on to a Robert Pires corner and half-volleying his shot from the edge of the area to gave goalkeeper Tim Flowers no chance.

He then fired left footed past Flowers in the 66th minute and wrapped up the hat-trick in the 79th after darting around the goalkeeper.

The second half produced five of the Arsenal goals as they bounced back from a 4-0 defeat to Liverpool last Saturday by trouncing the third-placed side that had been level on points with the Londoners.

Patrick Vieira made it 2-0 five minutes after the break but Leicester replied through Ade Akinbiyi, cleaning up in the 54th after goalkeeper Alex Manninger had parried a shot.

Frederik Ljungberg also scored in the 75th minute and Arsenal captain Tony Adams earned a standing ovation from the Highbury faithful when he slid in at the post for the sixth goal in the last minute.

Leicester’s defeat left them in danger of being pushed out of the top three by Liverpool and Ipswich.

In another early match, West Ham United beat Charlton Athletic 5-0, with Frederic Kanoute scoring twice. Paolo di Canio, Frank Lampard and Trevor Sinclair scored the other goals.