Chelsea kept their slim hopes of retaining their Premiership title alive with a comprehensive 4-0 win away to Bolton and are now seven points behind leaders Manchester United but have played a game more.
Anything less than three points would have seen Chelsea scrapping it out for a Champions League place as their defence of the title would but all have evaporated.
The Blues enjoy a good record against the Wanderers with 12 wins and no defeats in 15 encounters yet the host's boasted an impressive home record with just one defeat all season.
Yet the Wanderers were suffering a crisis of confidence of their own with just one point out of a possible twelve and still searching for a league win in 2011.
Chelsea's nerves were settled by an early goal from Didier Drogba whose swerving long range effort deceived keeper Jussi Jaaskelainen. Then just before the break the visitor's finally doubled their advantage with a scrambled Florent Malouda effort.
Wanderers came close with a Matt Taylor header but Petr Cech saved.
Nicolas Anelka, against his old club, made the game safe early in the second half and Ramires rounded off the scoring with his first goal for the club.
Referee: Chris Foy
Venue: Reebok Stadium Attendance: 22,837
Bolton scorers: Chelsea scorers: Drogba 11, Malouda 41, Anelka 56, Ramires 74
BOLTON 22 Jaaskelainen 02 Steinsson 04 Robinson 05 Cahill 12 Knight 06 Muamba (Davies 63) 07 Taylor 08 Holden (Blake 87) 10 Petrov (Moreno 63) 09 Elmander 14 Davies
Substitutes 01 Bogdan, 18 Ricketts, 31 Wheater, 16 Davies, 21 Cohen, 19 Moreno, 20 Blake
CHELSEA 01 Cech 02 Ivanovic 03 A Cole 17 Bosingwa 26 Terry 05 Essien 07 Ramires (Kalou 77) 12 Mikel (McEachran 72) 15 Malouda 11 Drogba 39 Anelka
Substitutes 22 Turnbull, 19 Ferreira, 43 Bruma, 46 McEachran, 21 Kalou, 23 Sturridge, 44 Kakuta