Fernando Torres hails first goal for Chelsea
Fernando Torres expressed relief after scoring his first goal for Chelsea in Saturday's 3-0 victory over West Ham.
On his 14th outing since a £50m move from Liverpool in January, the Spain striker ended a 903-minute drought for club and country.
"It was not the beginning I was expecting when I signed, but it's never easy when you arrive in January at a massive team like this," Torres said.
"There's less pressure for me now, now I can enjoy it."
Torres had gone 732 minutes without a goal for Chelsea and looked desperately short of confidence in his 13 previous appearances.
The 27-year-old started on the substitutes' bench for the fifth successive Premier League match before coming on for Didier Drogba in the 76th minute.
“While Torres' early performances were not bad enough to have him written off as comprehensively as he was in some quarters, this brief return to former glories is insufficient to announce normal service has resumed”
Chelsea were leading 1-0 through Frank Lampard's first-half strike but West Ham were pushing hard for an equaliser.
Torres looked sharp and hungry from the moment he came on to the pitch, and laid on an opening for Nicolas Anelka before doubling his side's lead.
It looked as though his chance had gone when the ball came to an abrupt halt on the rain-soaked Stamford Bridge surface, only for the Spaniard to turn back and curl a fine finish past West Ham goalkeeper Robert Green.
The strike prompted wild celebrations from the Chelsea players and supporters, with Torres wearing a smile that has rarely been seen since his high-profile transfer from Anfield.
"I kept working and it's thanks to all my team-mates that I scored," he added. "Thanks to all my team-mates, they were looking for me in every game.
"It wasn't so difficult for me but for the fans - I had more anxiety for them than for me, I wanted to show them I could score and hopefully this is the first of many goals.
"Now we can try to finish the season as we all want."
Blues boss Carlo Ancelotti was thrilled for Torres and his side, who are now three points clear of Arsenal in third and remain six points behind leaders Manchester United following their 1-0 victory over Everton .
In their remaining four matches, the west Londoners host Tottenham, travel to United, face Newcastle at Stamford Bridge and finish the season at Everton.
"What a perfect day," stated Ancelotti. "Everyone has been waiting for Fernando to score and finally he did it. From today, a new life.
"He needed a goal - he worked hard and maintained confidence and composure. From today, he will have fantastic future at this club.
"The big problem was that he came to a new club and it was not easy to immediately find a good relationship with the new team-mates and our play.
"Now the bad moment has gone and we will take advantage with his performances."
Torres and Drogba have so far failed to strike up an understanding when they have played together but Ancelotti hinted he might field both against Spurs next Saturday.
"Considering the performance of Didier today, considering that Fernando scored, we have to try to put both together," the Italian commented.
"We have one week to train, we can try and I think that I will take a decision for the next game."
Ancelotti admitted that United remain in the driving seat for a 19th top-flight title but insisted that his team, who won the Double last season, would fight until the end to retain their crown.
"I don't think Manchester United have more pressure now, they are six points ahead and that is a good gap with just four games left," the Chelsea manager added.
"But we will keep trying to do our best and hope something will happen. If not, we have to celebrate Man United for having a great Premier League season."
The scoreline was harsh on bottom-of-the table West Ham, who are now two points adrift of safety, and manager Avram Grant reflected: "I think everybody in this room knows that we deserved better.
"[Chelsea keeper] Petr Cech was excellent today with two or three great saves. If someone didn't see the game, they think 3-0, Chelsea is much better than us.
"I can be very proud of the players. Without the player of the year [Scott Parker] , without Matthew Upson, without Gary O'Neil, and Mark Noble second half, they showed a lot of belief, a lot of spirit.
"If we continue to play like this, we will stay in the league."