Bolton: Chelsea manager Andre Villas-Boas insists his team's 5-1 destruction of Bolton showed they have finally discovered the ruthless instincts required to win the Premier League.
Frank Lampard scored a hat-trick within an hour on his 350th league appearance for the club, while Daniel Sturridge scored twice as Chelsea routed Wanderers, who had to settle for a consolation goal from Dedryck Boyata early in the second half at the Reebok Stadium on Sunday.
The Blues are now in third place, three points behind leaders Manchester United, and Villas-Boas is adamant it was about time Chelsea won by a big scoreline.
"We have been looking towards this victory for quite some time," he said. "It happened because we were more prolific in front of goal.
"I would like to dedicate the victory to my technical staff and my players. We have been chasing this victory for quite some time, we have deserved this for some time but for various reasons it hasn't been happening for us but it happened today.
"I don't think it's a statement. It is just something that fills us with pride because it is not as though we haven't been trying to do this before.
"We have been trying but football is a game full of uncertain things and for various reasons - luck, a lack of efficiency - we weren't able to find a result like this before.
"We have been creating the same volume of opportunities, today we were just more prolific and it paid off very, very well."
Lampard was the outstanding performer among many for Chelsea, especially given the uncertainty surrounding his future under the new Chelsea manager.
Whatever the future holds for the 33-year-old, he showed at the Reebok Stadium that he is not losing any of his scoring touch with age.
"It is good for him because he had a good, solid performance alongside the rest of the team," Villas-Boas said.
"He arrived with perfect timing as he has been doing these past years. His talent has never been in question, but we spoke before, it is not a question of age, it is a question of competence.
"This squad is full of competence and the talent has never been in question. We have enough talent to challenge for the Premier League."
Chelsea now go into the international break hot on the heels of pacesetters United and Manchester City and with their manager in optimistic mood.
"Next week two title contenders play each other - Liverpool and Manchester United - then the two Manchester clubs play each other the following week," he said.
"It is important for us to continue to win and close the gap. We have a difficult game against Everton and a difficult game against QPR but hopefully, if we manage to get six points out of that, it will put us in a better position."
Bolton manager Owen Coyle has now seen his team lose 11 of their last 12 league games and six consecutive this season.
Yet he remained defiant in the face of growing pressure and criticism.
"I took stick as a player and I will take it as a manager," he said. "I'll be back on that training ground to work because all I want to do is put a smile on the fans' faces.
"People have said lovely things about me and the success I've had for six years. If I come in for criticism now, so be it. I'll take it on the chin because all I want to do is work hard for those fans.
"We knew it was an horrendous fixture list in terms of playing five of the teams who will finish in the top six and we have taken nothing from them.
"Now we are going into a group of games we feel we can take points from."