Fernando Torres off the Mark for Chelsea: More Than Just a Goal

Will J BakerCorrespondent IIIApril 23, 2011

LONDON, ENGLAND - APRIL 23:  Florent  Malouda (L) of Chelsea celebrates with teammates Fernando Torres and Ashley Cole after scoring his team's third goal during the Barclays Premier League match between Chelsea and West Ham United at Stamford Bridge on April 23, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Chelsea eventually cruised to a comfortable victory over West Ham on a rain-soaked Stamford Bridge pitch this afternoon. 

But it was the second goal that caused Chelsea fans to erupt in excitement. It was a moment that so many had been waiting for, and for Fernando Torres, it marked the start of something new.

The most expensive player in Premier League history has suffered one of the most humiliating and well-publicized goal droughts in recent history.

But now it seems that Chelsea's No. 9 has finally turned the corner. From the moment he came on as a 75th minute substitute, he looked sharper and more willing to make runs than he has done since making his multimillion-pound move from Anfield.

Put clean through by Anelka, it seemed that the wet pitch was going to deny Torres again, but El Niño kept his head and slotted it past Robert Green in the West Ham goal.

In the context of the match it was important, as it put paid to a potential Hammers comeback, but in the context of the rest of the season, it could prove crucial.

Chelsea reduced the gap with Manchester United to six points and, with a visit to Old Trafford to come and the League leaders' difficult run-in, the title race is back on!

Torres will play a big part, and he may finally be able to link up with Drogba who, although already substituted, joined every single Chelsea player in the euphoric celebrations that followed the goal.

Torres went on to set up Malouda for the third, but it was his first goal for Chelsea that made everyone in the stadium stand up.