BOLTON - 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 Premier League North London derby 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 half-time 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, four points behind third-placed Chelsea who are three adrift of leaders Manchester United and Manchester City. Usual top-four side Arsenal are languishing in 15th with just seven points from seven games.
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 which 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 Lampard completed his hat-trick on 59 minutes with Chelsea's fifth goal.
"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]."
Arsenal also created opportunities and they looked more comfortable than they have in recent weeks, only to be undone by shaky defending once again.
After enjoying the better possession of the first half, when Gervinho squandered a golden chance, they fell behind in the 40th minute when their former striker Emmanuel Adebayor put Van der Vaart through with an angled pass.
The Dutchman controlled the ball with the top of his arm before sending it flying past Szezesny. The handball was not spotted by the referee and the goal gave Spurs extra momentum.
Arsenal came out looking hungry after the break and soon levelled when Ramsey turned in Alex Song's cross.
But there was one final twist in an end-to-end game as full-back Walker fired a swerving long-range shot past Szczesny, who should have done better, to notch his first goal for the club.
"There were some encouraging signs but we need points," Wenger, whose side have fewer points than all three promoted sides, told Sky Sports. "We are not where we want to be.
"We lost a game when we were on top and we conceded two poor goals, I think the first goal was hand ball and a second yellow card... how can the linesman not see it? After the second goal I think we defended badly."
Lampard was not the day's only hat-trick scorer as Fulham striker Andy Johnson hit three goals in a 6-0 rout of local rivals Queens Park Rangers 6-0 and Swansea City beat Stoke City 2-0.comments