Lampard treble fires Chelsea

Frank Lampard's hat-trick inspired Chelsea to a 5-1 thumping of Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur...

File: Chelsea's Frank Lampard gestures to fans. Picture: AFP.

Frank Lampard's hat-trick inspired Chelsea to a 5-1 thumping of Bolton Wanderers and Tottenham Hotspur poured more misery on Arsenal with a 2-1 victory in a controversial north London derby in the Premier League on Sunday.

Chelsea were four goals up with less than half an hour played as they sent a reminder to their free-scoring Manchester title rivals that they can also find the net at will.

Spurs waited until five minutes before halftime to break the deadlock at White Hart Lane when Rafael Van der Vaart beat Arsenal keeper Wojciech Szczesny, though he appeared to handle the ball before shooting into the bottom corner.

Arsene Wenger's side pulled level through Aaron Ramsey before the hosts snatched all three points on 73 minutes when defender Kyle Walker's fierce shot swerved past Szczesny.

Victory lifted Spurs to sixth in the table, four points behind third-placed Chelsea who are three adrift of leaders Manchester United and Manchester City.

On a mild but gloomy afternoon at the Reebok, Chelsea took less than two minutes to get off the mark when Daniel Sturridge, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Bolton, rose above Gretar Steinsson to nod in a Lampard corner.

The pair combined for the second goal on 15 minutes when Sturridge found Lampard with a neat pass across the goal that the midfielder swept in with his right foot past keeper Adam Bogdan, who was standing in for the injured Jussi Jaaskelainen.

Sturridge drove in the third on 25 minutes after cutting in from the right to unleash a bobbling left-foot shot that Bogdan should have held.


Two minutes later Lampard added the fourth, scooping in the rebound after Bogdan, enduring an afternoon as shocking as his pink shirt as he flapped between the posts, could only parry David Luiz's powerful shot.

Sturridge, applauded by home fans before the game in recognition of the eight goals he notched in 12 Bolton appearances, did not celebrate either of his goals.

Bolton came out from the break pumped up and immediately got on the scoresheet when Boyata jumped high to head in a Martin Petrov free kick. They continued to enjoy a lively spell before spirits were crushed when Chelsea hit their fifth.

After exchanging passes with Didier Drogba, Lampard showed he still has a sharp finishing touch as he completed his hat-trick after a few weeks in which 33-year-old midfielder's future has been under the spotlight.

"We have been looking for this victory for quite some time," Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas told a news conference. "It fills us with pride.

"It's not that we have not been trying to do this before ... (but) for various different reasons we weren't able to find a result with this expression before. We have been creating the same amount of opportunities but we were more prolific (in this game)."

There was also a treble for Fulham striker Andy Johnson as Chelsea's neighbours hammered Queens Park Rangers 6-0 in a west London derby and Swansea City beat Stoke City 2-0.