Dutch international discusses "personal victory" as strike helps team on their way to victory over the Hammers, which moved club a step closer towards the Champions League
The Dutch international was playing in his 94th game for the club since arriving from Hamburg before he scored the opener in City’s 2-1 win over relegation threatened West Ham United.
De Jong, who is known more for his tackling than his shooting, admitted that his lack of goals had begun to play on his mind.
He told the club’s official website: "The ball bounced off one of the West Ham players and came down to the edge of the box.
"I was standing there so I saw the opportunity to shoot and this time finally it went into the net.
"The relief was there. The boys had been asking me when I was going to score my first goal and saying I had lost my touch, and all sorts of thoughts had been getting into my head.
"So it is nice to score a goal to make sure your side is leading 1-0. It was a personal victory as well."
City captain Vincent Kompany said he was pleased for De Jong as it had clearly been on the midfielder's mind for some time. He also revealed he would like to score more goals for City having netted just three times since joining.
He said: "I was happy to see Nigel score because he really has been looking for that goal for such a long time.
"I hope that will trigger his account now and who knows, maybe we will see five or 10 goals a season from Nigel! He can handle the pressure.
"I had better start working on it now - I can score as well, so it can't be that long any more before I get one."