Two late goals against Bournemouth finally gave Frank Lampard his first win since his return as Chelsea’s interim manager.
The Blues had lost all four Premier League games since Lampard’s return in April, but had led through Conor Gallagher’s early header.
Matias Vina levelled for Bournemouth, but Benoit Badiashile and Joao Felix struck inside the last 10 minutes.
Relegation remains a possibility for the Cherries with three games left, while Chelsea are 11th in the table.
With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Raheem Sterling among five players left out from the side that had lost 3-1 at Arsenal in their previous outing, Chelsea were much improved with 21-year-old Noni Madueke a particular threat on the right-hand side.
Bournemouth’s best spell came early in the second half when Vina missed a chance for a second and Dango Ouattara headed over from close range, but Gary O’Neil’s side still have a good chance of avoiding a quick return to the Championship with games against Crystal Palace, Manchester United and Everton to come.
They are currently nine points clear of the bottom three, although some teams still have four matches to play.
Relief for Lampard but more big tests await Chelsea
Chelsea’s recent record made for grim reading, with defeats to Real Madrid in both legs of their Champions League quarter-final to go alongside the losses in the league and just two goals scored in those six outings under Lampard.
But Lampard’s tweaks to the side that had gone 3-0 behind after just 34 minutes against Arsenal paid off, with Gallagher looking lively throughout after his deft, glancing header diverted N’Golo Kante’s fine cross from the right in the ninth minute.
Madueke found the side netting in the first half, as well as posing problems for Bournemouth when cutting inside from the left with some fine runs.
Badiashile, another of Lampard’s changes from midweek, also impressed in giving Chelsea a much more solid feel at the back and he thoroughly deserved his first goal since his arrival from Monaco in January with a poke from close range to Hatem Ziyech’s free-kick.
Felix finished off a cute exchange of passes with Sterling, on as a substitute in the second half, to give a comfortable-looking gloss to the scoreline.
But even after the relief of his first win, Lampard knows he still faces a tricky end to the season.
Chelsea face relegation-threatened Nottingham Forest next, before a daunting final trio of games against clubs currently in the positions Chelsea fans would expect to be contesting: Manchester City, Manchester United and Newcastle United.