Malouda gives Blues scrappy win
Chelsea ended their worst Barclays Premier League run for more than a decade after grinding out a 1-0 win against Bolton.
Florent Malouda scored his first league goal for more than two months to send the faltering champions back into the top four and ease the pressure on manager Carlo Ancelotti.
Didier Drogba also hit the post but was forced to clear off the line as Bolton had more than enough chances to snatch a point. Chelsea's first league win in seven lifted them back to within four points of leaders Manchester United, who have a game in hand.
Bolton were typically combative and John Terry needed to produce a desperate challenge to prevent Kevin Davies stealing in, while Matthew Taylor drilled wide after latching onto the recalled Jose Bosingwa's attempted clearance.
The home side were not even close to a goal before being booed off by some of their fans at half-time.
They looked no better in the opening four minutes of the second half until, out of nowhere, Frank Lampard produced a wonderful defence-splitting pass for Drogba, whose finish hit the inside of the far post and was cleared to safety.
The pressure finally told in the 61st minute when Michael Essien released Drogba down the right and the striker squared for Malouda to tap home his first league goal since October.
The jubilant celebrations from both fans and players told their own story but Chelsea's confidence remained fragile and Sam Ricketts blazed over from 12 yards as Bolton hit back.
Bolton went even closer when Johan Elmander's cross was met by a bullet header from Stuart Holden, forcing a wonderful tip over from Petr Cech. The goalkeeper made a hash of the resulting corner and was grateful to Drogba on the line for clearing the danger.
Malouda was denied twice by Jussi Jaaskelainen late on before Ancelotti ran down the clock by introducing Salomon Kalou and Paulo Ferreira in the closing seconds.