Chelsea turned on the style in the second half to ease past Bolton and end a run of five games without a win.
Bolton frustrated the Blues before the break but David Luiz's fine curled shot put the hosts ahead in the second half.
Didier Drogba headed in number two from close range and Frank Lampard volleyed a third from Juan Mata's cross.
The visitors, whose best chance saw Nigel Reo-Coker fire wide after the break, remain 19th in the table but are above Wigan only on goal difference.
Bolton's hopes of pulling off a shock win - and a first over Chelsea since 2003 - looked good after a solid defensive first-half display in which new signing Tim Ream and David Wheater excelled.
However, victory for under-fire Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas was never in serious doubt once his side went ahead, despite a nervy opening 45 minutes.
Chelsea's Premier League title hopes have faded but, with their Champions League future in serious doubt following midweek defeat by Napoli, losing against Bolton was unthinkable for Villas-Boas in front of watching owner Roman Abramovich.
The hosts began with much greater intent than in many of their recent games.
Lampard, given the captain's armband in the absence of the injured John Terry, and Michael Essien were restored to the centre of midfield and their tenacity and energy were the main factors in the Londoners dominating the opening stages and eventually securing a comfortable victory.
Daniel Sturridge, who scored eight goals in 11 league starts during a loan spell at Bolton last season, was once again Chelsea's chief threat and was involved in all of their best moments before the break.
Chelsea's joint-top scorer tested visiting keeper Adam Bogdan with a low 18-yard strike and forced a decent diving save from the Hungarian when he cut inside and hit a curling strike towards the far corner.
Did you know?
Frank Lampard's goal means he has become the first player to score at least 10 Premier League goals in nine successive seasons
Sturridge also teed up a chance for Lampard, who chose to stay on his feet rather than go down under a challenge from Bogdan and was eventually crowded out.
The visitors offered little in attack but looked lively on the break and could have led in first-half stoppage time when Ryo Miyaichi fired over at the near post.
But Bolton, who have now lost 18 of the 19 league games in which they have fallen behind in so far this season, trailed within three minutes of the restart and never really recovered.
The Londoners went ahead following a marauding run on the left by the much-maligned Luiz.
The Brazilian won possession and found Ashley Cole out wide and, when Cole's cross fell kindly to him, Luiz stepped inside and curled a beautiful effort into the the far corner.
While the defender's ability at the back has been questioned, there is no doubting his threat at the other end and he almost headed a second but was denied by a combination of Miyaichi's foot and the post.
Reo-Coker could have drawn the Trotters level almost immediately only to screw an effort wide.
Drogba clipped the top of the bar after a sweeping breakaway started by Petr Cech's long throw, but moments later the Ivorian did have his goal when he powerfully headed home Lampard's corner.
Lampard grabbed his 10th league goal of a stop-start season when he steered in Mata's inviting cross and, although the Blues, who move up to fourth in the table, had plenty of other chances, they could not add to their lead.
- 01 Cech
- 02 Ivanovic
- 03 Cole
- 04 Luiz
- 24 Cahill
- 05 Essien
- 07 Ramires (Mikel - 88' )
- 08 Lampard
- 10 Mata
- 11 Drogba (Torres - 76' )
- 23 Sturridge (Kalou - 80' )
- 22 Turnbull
- 34 Bertrand
- 12 Mikel
- 15 Malouda
- 16 Meireles
- 09 Torres
- 21 Kalou
- 01 Bogdan
- 02 Steinsson
- 18 Ricketts
- 31 Wheater
- 32 Ream
- 06 Muamba
- 19 Reo-Coker
- 21 Pratley Booked
- 09 Tuncay (Eagles - 75' )
- 24 Ngog (Sordell - 65' )
- 30 Miyaichi
- 22 Jaaskelainen
- 04 Robinson
- 12 Knight
- 25 Boyata
- 07 Eagles
- 17 Klasnic
- 29 Sordell
Live Text Commentary
Full Time The referee blows his whistle to end the game.90:00 +2:42
Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard played to the near post, Fernando Torres has a header from deep inside the six-yard box and clears the crossbar.90:00 +0:47
The ball is crossed by Fernando Torres, Salomon Kalou produces a header from deep inside the six-yard box that clears the bar.90:00 +0:36
Branislav Ivanovic delivers the ball, David Wheater makes a clearance.90:00 +0:01
Fernando Torres crosses the ball.89:11
Unfair challenge on Juan Mata by Samuel Ricketts results in a free kick. Mikel takes the free kick.87:40 Substitution
Substitution (Chelsea) makes a substitution, with Mikel coming on for Ramires.87:30
Shot by Fernando Torres from deep inside the penalty area misses wide to the left of the target.82:57
Short corner taken by Ryo Miyaichi.82:44
Gretar Rafn Steinsson takes a shot. Blocked by Frank Lampard.80:46
Juan Mata concedes a free kick for a foul on Gretar Rafn Steinsson. Gretar Rafn Steinsson restarts play with the free kick.79:13 Substitution
Substitution Daniel Sturridge goes off and Salomon Kalou comes on.78:21
Juan Mata provided the assist for the goal.78:21 Goal scored
Goal! - Frank Lampard - Chelsea 3 - 0 Bolton Frank Lampard fires in a goal from close in low into the middle of the goal. Chelsea 3-0 Bolton.75:43 Substitution
Substitution Fernando Torres joins the action as a substitute, replacing Didier Drogba.75:32
Marvin Sordell has an effort at goal from outside the penalty box which goes wide left of the goal.75:03
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Chris Eagles by Ramires. Nigel Reo-Coker takes the free kick.74:14 Substitution
Substitution (Bolton) makes a substitution, with Chris Eagles coming on for Tuncay Sanli.72:01
The referee blows for offside. Free kick taken by Petr Cech.70:42
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Tuncay Sanli by Didier Drogba. Direct free kick taken by Adam Bogdan.
The ball is delivered by Juan Mata, Tim Ream makes a clearance.70:31
Branislav Ivanovic sends in a cross, clearance by David Wheater.69:44
The ball is swung over by Branislav Ivanovic, David Wheater manages to make a clearance.67:16
Effort from outside the area by Samuel Ricketts goes wide right of the goal.66:40
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Tuncay Sanli by Ashley Cole. Gretar Rafn Steinsson crosses the ball in from the free kick, David Luiz manages to make a clearance.64:51
Free kick taken by Petr Cech.64:51 Substitution
Substitution Marvin Sordell on for David Ngog.64:51
Ryo Miyaichi is flagged offside by the assistant referee.64:28
Corner taken by Ryo Miyaichi from the left by-line to the near post, Michael Essien makes a clearance.64:03
Juan Mata has an effort at goal. Save made by Adam Bogdan.63:11
Corner taken right-footed by Ryo Miyaichi, clearance made by David Luiz.62:44
Branislav Ivanovic takes a shot. Save by Adam Bogdan.62:30
Michael Essien takes a shot. Save made by Adam Bogdan.61:58
Frank Lampard takes a short corner.60:49
Frank Lampard provided the assist for the goal.60:49 Goal scored
Goal! - Didier Drogba - Chelsea 2 - 0 Bolton Didier Drogba scores a headed goal from close in. Chelsea 2-0 Bolton.60:35
Frank Lampard takes the inswinging corner,60:21
Juan Mata takes a shot. Blocked by Gretar Rafn Steinsson.57:25
Effort from outside the penalty area by Tuncay Sanli goes wide left of the target.57:12
Nigel Reo-Coker takes a shot. Blocked by Gary Cahill.55:41
Didier Drogba takes a shot.55:25
Darren Pratley takes a shot. Petr Cech makes a save.53:50
Corner from the right by-line taken by Juan Mata, David Luiz has a headed effort at goal from close in that hits the post.53:15
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Juan Mata by Tim Ream. Frank Lampard takes the free kick.51:28
Frank Lampard takes a shot. Adam Bogdan makes a save.50:37
Nigel Reo-Coker produces a right-footed shot from the edge of the area and misses to the left of the goal.49:06
Corner taken by Tuncay Sanli from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Michael Essien.49:02
The ball is swung over by Ryo Miyaichi, blocked by Branislav Ivanovic.47:06
The assist for the goal came from Didier Drogba.47:06 Goal scored
Goal! - David Luiz - Chelsea 1 - 0 Bolton Goal scored by David Luiz from the edge of the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Chelsea 1-0 Bolton.45:31
Foul by David Luiz on Tuncay Sanli, free kick awarded. Free kick taken by Adam Bogdan.45:01
The referee gets the second half started.45:00 +1:15 Half time
Half Time The ref blows to signal half-time.45:00 +0:04
Effort on goal by Ryo Miyaichi from inside the penalty area goes harmlessly over the bar.42:48
The assistant referee signals for offside against Juan Mata. Adam Bogdan takes the free kick.42:01
Petr Cech takes the free kick.42:01 Booking
Booking Darren Pratley is booked.41:54
Michael Essien fouled by Darren Pratley, the ref awards a free kick.40:53
Didier Drogba takes a shot. Tim Ream gets a block in.39:57
David Ngog concedes a free kick for a foul on David Luiz. Direct free kick taken by David Luiz.39:24
A cross is delivered by Juan Mata.39:17
Juan Mata takes a short corner.39:10
The ball is crossed by Daniel Sturridge, clearance made by Tim Ream.35:29
Shot from just outside the area by Ashley Cole misses to the left of the target.34:39
Inswinging corner taken by Tuncay Sanli from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance by Michael Essien.33:41
Unfair challenge on Juan Mata by Fabrice Muamba results in a free kick. Free kick taken by David Luiz.33:03
Inswinging corner taken by Frank Lampard from the left by-line played to the near post, David Ngog manages to make a clearance.32:57
Daniel Sturridge takes a shot. David Wheater gets a block in.32:37
Free kick awarded for a foul by David Ngog on Michael Essien. Frank Lampard restarts play with the free kick.30:52
Free kick awarded for a foul by David Luiz on Darren Pratley. Free kick crossed left-footed by Samuel Ricketts from right channel, Ashley Cole makes a clearance.30:27
Ramires takes a shot. Save made by Adam Bogdan.30:11
Frank Lampard takes a inswinging corner from the left by-line played to the near post, clearance made by David Ngog.30:07
The ball is swung over by Juan Mata, David Wheater manages to make a clearance.29:19
Corner taken right-footed by Frank Lampard from the right by-line, clearance by Tim Ream.29:00
Daniel Sturridge takes a shot. Gretar Rafn Steinsson gets a block in.28:46
Corner taken by Juan Mata, Fabrice Muamba makes a clearance.28:37
Daniel Sturridge takes a shot. Adam Bogdan makes a save.27:38
Frank Lampard produces a cross, Headed effort from inside the area by Branislav Ivanovic misses to the right of the target.27:11
Frank Lampard takes a outswinging corner to the near post, clearance by David Ngog.25:32
Foul by Nigel Reo-Coker on Juan Mata, free kick awarded. Frank Lampard takes the free kick.24:53
Darren Pratley is penalised for handball and concedes a free kick. David Luiz takes the direct free kick.23:24
Unfair challenge on David Luiz by Nigel Reo-Coker results in a free kick. Petr Cech takes the direct free kick.22:08
Corner taken by Tuncay Sanli from the left by-line, Didier Drogba fouled by David Wheater, the ref awards a free kick. Petr Cech takes the free kick.20:06
Juan Mata takes a outswinging corner to the near post, Tuncay Sanli makes a clearance.20:02
Juan Mata delivers the ball, clearance made by Gretar Rafn Steinsson.18:44
Didier Drogba takes a shot. Adam Bogdan makes a save.18:21
Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Didier Drogba by Nigel Reo-Coker. Frank Lampard takes the direct free kick.17:19
Free kick awarded for a foul by Didier Drogba on David Wheater. Free kick taken by Adam Bogdan.16:02
The referee blows for offside. Adam Bogdan takes the indirect free kick.15:08
The ball is sent over by Gretar Rafn Steinsson, clearance made by David Luiz.14:14
Corner taken by Tuncay Sanli from the right by-line played to the near post, Frank Lampard makes a clearance.13:07
The ball is swung over by Frank Lampard, Adam Bogdan makes a save.12:35
Outswinging corner taken by Frank Lampard, David Wheater manages to make a clearance.11:06
Fabrice Muamba challenges Michael Essien unfairly and gives away a free kick. Michael Essien restarts play with the free kick.8:03
Juan Mata takes the outswinging corner, Didier Drogba takes a shot. Save made by Adam Bogdan.7:27
Short corner taken by Juan Mata from the left by-line.6:39
Michael Essien takes a long range shot clearing the bar.4:42
Darren Pratley challenges Frank Lampard unfairly and gives away a free kick. David Luiz takes the direct free kick.4:22
Daniel Sturridge takes a shot. Save by Adam Bogdan.3:10
David Ngog gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on David Luiz. Free kick taken by Petr Cech.2:30
The referee blows for offside. Adam Bogdan takes the free kick.1:45
Daniel Sturridge takes a shot. Save by Adam Bogdan.0:52
Ashley Cole is flagged offside by the assistant referee. Indirect free kick taken by Adam Bogdan.0:00
The match gets underway.
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