Sheer, unbridled bliss. Quite a feeling this, one a certain Spaniard hadn't exactly been familiar with since his January move to Chelsea Football Club. Not so much anymore.
We all experienced such a feeling Saturday afternoon. That's when our newest No. 9 opened his account for the club. It's a moment many of us will not soon, if ever, forget.
It started with a great squared ball for Anelka only a couple of minutes after being introduced, one that led to Gabbidon clearing brilliantly the Frenchman's goal-bound effort a couple of yards from his line. Then came a bursting run through the middle of the park, which released Malouda. There was more aggression, more confidence in this appearance.
Promising. Then came the moment of truth.
I. Both Anelka and Torres attacked a punt from Cech into the final third. A fortunate bounce freed Anelka through the center. Nando, meanwhile, made a trademark darting run inside Da Costa and Gabbidon. The through ball was precise and the first touch superb.
II. Only problem was the conditions. The ball caught itself in some standing water around the penalty spot, coming almost to a dead halt. No bother for our new No. 9. He reacted instantly to the misfortune, stopping mid-sprint, swerving and setting himself before the late arriving Wayne Bridge could formulate a telling challenge.
III. As with much of the move, the final piece was sublime. After the quick swerve, there was the slightest of touches with the outside of the right boot to create the necessary spacing for a shot on target. The strike, with the inside of his left, was an unstoppable one that curled right into the far-post netting beyond the stretching Robert Green.
From there the celebration was on. And I mean, really on.
IV. Off we go, with an absolutely giddy Yossi Benayoun in tow. What about Anelka here? When was the last time you saw this man with such a grin on his face? I'm telling you, that brought a very warm laugh out of me. Well done to Nico for backing his potential replacement. And lest we forget about the crowd reaction. That was something you really can't describe. If you were there, let us know how you would interpret it. Either way, it felt like one of those rare moments in sport that send you into the stratosphere. You forget your troubles, the world's troubles, and just smile. It was absolutely amazing.
V. Vintage El Niño. The slide. The pose. It borders on arrogance, but when you score like this man has been known to score, you can celebrate however the hell you want.
VI. Amongst the madness, there was solidarity. Many have claimed that Fernando is an isolated figure at Chelsea. The French contingent, including Didier, are unhappy with his presence. The Spaniard, they say, is unwanted. They are wrong. In a tremendous show of team unity, Nando's teammates mobbed him in the aftermath of the goal. A massive pile-up ensued - similar to the one Claude Makelele received after his goal against Charlton in 2005, except everyone managed to stay on their feet that day as far as I can remember. Bane was the first to slide in, starting a domino effect of bodies piling on top of Stamford Bridge's newest hero. EBJT was ecstatic, as was Lampard. Everyone really. Mikel showed his commitment by not only jumping in, but taking Torres aside after he reached his feet for a special clinch and word. Bob went absolutely nuts, giving him a massive bear hug that took Torres off his feet. It was a chilling moment - in a good way, of course.
Drogba was in the locker room when the epicness unfolded. Was he jealous? Not in the least.
"I was in the changing room and I wanted to run and jump on as well," the Ivorian said afterward. "We know we have a great player here."
Well put, sir.
VII. Relief. Time to move forward.
VIII. No, thank you. Thank you for a moment - I don't care if it was against West Ham - most of us will never forget. That roar? Historic. The first of many, I would think. A new era has begun?
Bonus: Here's the visual in full. Enjoy it - time and time again.