Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas was passed fit to start in Wednesday’s Champions League clash against Barcelona, but former Gunners striker Thierry Henry only made the bench for the Spanish club.
Fabregas – who came through the Barcelona Academy – had missed training on Tuesday in the hope an extra 24 hours rest would allow him time to recover from the bruised knee and leg suffered during Saturday’s 1-1 draw at Birmingham.
The additional recovery time paid dividends as the Spain midfielder was declared fit to face his old club.
There was a further boost for Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger as French defender William Gallas returned to the team for the first time since February after recovering from a calf injury ahead of schedule.
Barca coach Josep Guardiola left Henry among his substitutes as the France striker returned to the Emirates Stadium for the first time since his 2007 move to the Nou Camp.
Guardiola was without injured midfielder Andres Iniesta but Xavi and Gerard Pique were declared fit after injury scares.