Premier League - Lampard stars in Chelsea romp
Lampard - becoming only the fourth player to make 350 league appearances for Chelsea after Ron Harris, Peter Bonetti and John Hollins - gave further notice that he is not yet a spent force when scoring twice in a first half that saw Chelsea exploit some lamentable defending from the woefully out-of-form hosts.
Sturridge also scored twice as Chelsea raced into a four-goal lead after only 27 minutes, and although Dedryck Boyata pulled one back with a header, Lampard rounded off a flowing move after 59 minutes to add a fifth.
Bolton were comprehensively outplayed for much of the game when being condemned to their worst start to a season in over 100 years, but finished strongly and a shot from Kevin Davies appeared to cross the line before Chris Eagles struck the post with a fine late effort.
Bolton were looking to end an unwanted Premier League record having lost their past eight home games against Chelsea without scoring a single goal. Their five home defeats in succession was also a club record in the top flight and a run of 10 defeats in 11 games spanning the summer break ensured manager Owen Coyle was under real scrutiny heading into the match.
After only two minutes of a disastrous first half for Bolton it became apparent that the focus on the manager would become ever more forensic as Bolton capitulated courtesy of some characteristically terrible defending.
Jose Bosingwa accelerated away from the inattentive Martin Petrov down the Chelsea right to win a corner, and Lampard's set-piece found Sturridge in far too much space eight yards from goal. He planted his header past Adam Bogdan and commendably refused to properly celebrate against a side whom he excelled for during a loan spell last season.
Sturridge scored eight goals in only 12 games working under Coyle and the Wanderers manager attempted to bring him back to the Reebok Stadium before he enjoyed an excellent pre-season campaign following the appointment of Andre Villas-Boas. The forward, expected to be named in the England squad to face Montenegro in a Euro 2012 qualifier, continued his impressive form when contributing an assist after 15 minutes.
A lovely move sprung to life when Ramires found Juan Mata with a back-heeled return pass 20 yards from goal and the Spaniard played in Sturridge on the right of the box. He subsequently squared for Lampard, who had the easiest of tasks to tap in from 10 yards.
The England man - a rejuvenated figure after his goal against Valencia in midweek helped to stave off suggestions his career is in terminal decline - quickly forced Bogdan into a smart save from a tight angle as Chelsea tore into the hosts.
However, the young keeper - called into the side following an injury to established No. 1 Jussi Jaaskelainen - soon saw his afternoon fall apart in embarrassing fashion. After 25 minutes his nightmare began when he allowed a bouncing effort from Sturridge to squirm over his arms and in after the Chelsea man had tricked his way past Boyata.
Inside two minutes Bogdan committed an even more grievous error, though Bolton's outfield contingent were also culpable for bizarrely allowing David Luiz the freedom of the pitch to saunter forward 50 yards with the ball. When the Brazilian did let fly, Bogdan spilled his effort into the path of Lampard, who gratefully turned his shot home.
The home side were left needing a comeback of Herculean proportions but some solace could be found in the fact that the last time a team were down 4-0 at half-time at home, Newcastle secured a famous 4-4 draw against Arsenal in February. Hopes of an unlikely point were encouraged inside a minute of the restart as Boyata claimed his first Premier League goal when meeting Petrov's fine free-kick with a firm header to beat Petr Cech.
Bolton's first home goal in nine games against Chelsea enthused a group of supporters who have suffered extensively this season but Villas-Boas sought to snuff out any potential resurgence when removing the more fluent Bosingwa and Ramires for Branislav Ivanovic and John Obi Mikel.
The latter almost handed Bolton a second when losing possession 20 yards from his own goal but an attempted lob from Kevin Davies floated kindly into the arms of Cech. Chelsea heeded the warning, and ended the game as a contest when Lampard claimed his third Premier League hat-trick on 59 minutes.
The fifth goal, when it came, was sublime. Didier Drogba flicked the ball into the path of Lampard, who exchanged the favour when offloading a first-time pass back to the Ivorian and sauntered into the box. There he met another fine first-time pass from Drogba on the spin and slotted the ball into the far corner.
Having been so comprehensively outplayed for the majority of the match, Bolton rallied towards the end and should have scored a second on 82 minutes when Petrov drove into the box and cut back for Davies. His shot appeared to cross the line as Ivanovic made a superb clearance but no goal was given.
Eagles then smacked a fine effort against the post as Cech got a touch to his goal-bound effort with just minutes remaining. It was a conclusion that promised better things for Bolton, but a heavy defeat still leaves them rooted to the bottom of the table.