Lampard hat-trick sinks Bolton
02 October 2011, 17:41
London - Frank Lampard gave the perfect response to critics who claim he is past his best as the Chelsea midfielder hit a hat-trick in his side's 5-1 victory over Bolton at the Reebok Stadium on Sunday.
Lampard had been dropped by both Blues boss Andre Villas-Boas and England coach Fabio Capello at various times since the start of the season, prompting suggestions that the 33-year-old is approaching the end of his career at the highest level.
But he showed he still has plenty to offer with the sixth treble of his career, and his fifth for Chelsea, as Villas-Boas's side routed bottom of the table Bolton, who have now lost six successive matches.
The Blues took the lead after just 92 seconds when Daniel Sturridge, who enjoyed a successful loan spell at Bolton last season, punished poor marking to head Juan Mata's corner past Adam Bogdan.
Sturridge turned provider in the 15th minute as his perfectly weighted pass was swept into the net by Lampard.
Chelsea's third goal arrived in the 25th minute. Sturridge's low shot from the edge of the area should have been dealt with, but Bogdan somehow managed to push it into his own net.
Bogdan was at fault again when Lampard scored his second two minutes later with a tap in after the Hungarian goalkeeper spilled David Luiz's shot.
Dedryck Boyata got one back for Bolton with a header from Martin Petrov's 46th minute free-kick, but Lampard completed his treble when he exchanged passes with Didier Drogba and slotted home in the 59th minute.
Chelsea's biggest victory under Villas-Boas moved the Blues back into third place, three points behind leaders Manchester United.
Tottenham face Arsenal in the north London derby later on Sunday, while Fulham host west London rivals QPR and Stoke travel to Swansea.