Torres breaks goalscoring duck in Chelsea victory
Fernando Torres scored his long-awaited first goal for Chelsea
to help the reigning English champion beat West Ham United 3-0 on
Saturday and keep up the pressure on Premier League leader
Torres, eight minutes after coming on as a substitute, burst
into the West Ham area, turned and drilled a low left-foot shot
into the corner of Robert Green’s net after 84 minutes at a
rain-soaked Stamford Bridge.
The Spanish striker had come under intense scrutiny after
failing to find the net in almost 15 hours of football despite
Chelsea’s paying a British transfer record 50 million pounds to
sign him from Liverpool in January.
England midfielder Frank Lampard gave Chelsea the lead in the
44th minute and Florent Malouda wrapped up the victory in injury
The home side, though, rode its luck against bottom club West
Ham, who missed glorious chances through Freddie Sears, Carlton
Cole and substitute Robbie Keane.
The victory lifted Chelsea to within six points of Manchester
United, who beat Everton 1-0 earlier Saturday, with four games
remaining in the title race. West Ham is two points adrift of
Torres had not found the net for 901 minutes for club and
country, 732 for the west London side since signing almost three
The 27-year-old said: ”I have had 14 games waiting for a goal,
which was not the beginning I was expecting when I signed. It is
not easy when you sign for a club in January but I want to thank
all my team-mates because they have been looking out for me.
”There will be less pressure on me now.”
Chelsea dominated early on but West Ham created two clear-cut
openings of their own in the first half. American Jonathan Spector
forced a sharp save from Petr Cech with a close-range header and
then Sears was denied by a combination of Cech and Ashley Cole as
Sears met a corner kick with a volleyed back heel.
With a minute of the half left, though, Chelsea produced their
best move of the match to take the lead. Didier Drogba played in a
marauding Cole down the left flank, and the defender’s low cross
was smashed home by Lampard.
The visitors came back strongly in the second half and could
easily have been level before Torres took over.
First Carlton Cole hesitated with the goal at his mercy, then
Keane blazed narrowly wide from 12 meters after ghosting between
They were made to pay for their profligacy after Torres had
replaced the impressive Drogba.
Nicolas Anelka’s through-ball played in Torres, and at first the
chance appeared to have gone as the ball was held up by a puddle.
But it proved a blessing in disguise for Torres, who reacted
sharply to swivel and fire home left-footed.
Stamford Bridge erupted and every outfield Chelsea player piled
on top of a jubilant Torres next to the corner flag.
The striker even played a part in Chelsea’s third goal, which
Malouda lashed into the roof of the net from 20 meters, a strike
that could prove vital if goal difference comes into play in the
Chelsea’s manager, Carlo Ancelotti, was delighted for
”What a perfect day,” the Italian said. ”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.”