Chelsea's players celebrate their third goal at Bolton
By Jonathan Stevenson
Chelsea cemented their place at the top of the Premier League with a second four-goal thumping of Bolton in a week.
The Blues created a glut of chances but had to wait until the 45th minute for Frank Lampard to score from the spot after Didier Drogba was brought down.
Jlloyd Samuel was sent off for the professional foul and Chelsea doubled their lead when Deco curled home.
Lampard hit the bar before Zat Knight bundled into his own net and Drogba rolled in a well-worked fourth.
Bolton will be sick of the sight of the team from west London after the Blues dumped them out of the Carling Cup on Wednesday with a similar drubbing at Stamford Bridge.
Team is very happy - Ancelotti
Between the two sides there were 13 changes on show at the Reebok Stadium, but though the cast was different, the action was all too familiar as Chelsea dominated proceedings from start until finish.
Joe Cole found himself back on the bench despite a stunning recent return to the side after a long-term injury, but even without him Chelsea's midfield quartet of Deco, Lampard, Michael Essien and Michael Ballack had far too much quality for Bolton.
After Johan Elmander had headed an early chance over for the hosts they found themselves under almost constant pressure as Carlo Ancelotti's in-form side laid siege to their goal.
Having won their last four matches 4-0, 5-0, 4-0 and 4-0, Chelsea looked full of goals and they created four chances in the space of a minute as Drogba headed wide, Jussi Jaaskelainen saved expertly from Nicolas Anelka and Drogba and then Essien rifled just over from 16 yards.
Gary Cahill's slip to let in Drogba then seemed certain to lead to the first goal, until the wonderful Jaaskelainen brilliantly stuck out his left leg to prevent the Ivorian's shot from creeping in.
It seemed a matter of time, but still Bolton bravely hung on. Branislav Ivanovic's superb left-foot volley was ruled out as Ballack was standing in an offside position and then Anelka forced another save from Jaaskelainen at his near post.
Bolton's best route to goal was through the target-man play of Kevin Davies, and twice in quick succession he flicked on for Elmander, the Swede's first shot fizzing inches over and his second instinctively deflected wide by the canny Ricardo Carvalho.
Drogba goes down under the challenge from Samuel
Just as it seemed Gary Megson's men had survived until half-time, the breakthrough finally came - and the cost to Bolton was even greater than going 1-0 behind.
Ballack's precision through ball sent Drogba away and in trying to make the challenge Samuel, who was the wrong side of Drogba, could only bring the striker down. He was shown a straight red card by referee Peter Walton and Lampard stepped up to coolly slot the penalty past Jaaskelainen.
The England midfielder clearly likes playing at the Reebok - it was there in April 2005 that he scored twice to earn Chelsea their first championship for 50 years in a 2-0 win.
The second half suddenly became an exercise in damage limitation for Bolton, but Chelsea's appetite for goals is insatiable at present and they poured forward against the flagging 10 men with relentless gusto.
Lampard praises Chelsea teamwork
Jaaskelainen twice saved brilliantly from Drogba, before Ancelotti's men doubled their lead with a lightning-quick counter-attack as Anelka fed Deco and he twisted inside a defender before slotting into the corner.
Lampard was not finished yet as he left the Bolton crossbar shaking with a vicious 22-yarder that Jaaskelainen did not see, before Carvalho's centre from the left flew in off Knight under pressure from Ivanovic to make it 3-0.
Even accounting for the sending off, the gulf between the teams was stark and as if to underline this Chelsea scored a quite sumptuous goal in the final minute, as Deco chested on to Lampard and his backheel was slotted in by Drogba.
It was imperious stuff and on this evidence Chelsea look primed for a real tilt at winning their third Premier League title.
Bolton boss Gary Megson:
Megson happy with Bolton effort
"I feel the complete opposite of how I did in midweek. We had a real go - we weren't on top at any stage, but we weren't as flimsy as we were at Stamford Bridge.
"We had some chances, and for 43, 44 minutes we competed all over the pitch.
"Their first goal was a poor one to concede, though Didier Drogba has done well to engineer the penalty."
Chelsea manager Carlo Ancelotti: "Our results have been good, but we know it's not possible to win every game 4-0.
"It's dangerous to think like that, it can't happen. We must keep our concentration and try to play well for 90 minutes, that's all that matters.
"Right now we're doing very well, we're top and we want to win every game."
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