Premier League - Torres shown red in Chelsea win
The first half was the tale of the inspired and the idiotic from Torres as the Spaniard followed a clinical strike for the opening goal with a quite ridiculously reckless lunge which saw him shown the red card after Ramires had doubled the hosts' lead in the 36th minute.
The Brazilian capped off a distinguished performance with a third to complete his brace before Ashley Williams headed a late consolation for Swansea, but the returning Didier Drogba had the final say with a stoppage-time strike after coming on as a substitute to seal the three points.
Chelsea boss Andre Villas-Boas handed Torres a starting berth after he scored but missed a sitter in the defeat to Manchester United while Drogba, who felt he was "lucky to still be alive" following his collision against Norwich was confined to the substitutes' bench along with Frank Lampard.
Swansea have not won away at Chelsea since November 1925 - losing six and drawing three of the nine visits since in all competitions - but the visitors almost made a stunning start in just the seventh minute. The ever-dangerous Scott Sinclair - the winger playing against his former club - hurtled down the left at pace and cut into the box, only for Branislav Ivanovic to make an impeccable challenge at the back to halt the attack.
Torres was convinced that he had won his side a penalty in the 27th minute as he surged into the Swansea box, only to go down under a challenge from Garry Monk as he latched on to John Obi Mikel's through ball, but referee Mike Dean was not remotely impressed.
But just two minutes later, the heavily-scrutinised Torres took down an exquisite through ball from Juan Mata into his path before lashing a clinical finish beyond Michel Vorm to open the scoring and confound his critics.
Chelsea were suddenly bristling with confidence in the final third of the field, and Ramires made it two as Ashley Cole slid an inviting delivery beyond a static Swansea defence for the Brazilian to drive a low shot under Vorm.
Just as it seemed the hosts would cruise through the match with a comfortable two-goal lead already established, Torres had a shocking surge of blood to the head as he flew in recklessly on Gower. The challenge saw referee Dean immediately brandish the red card, and there were very few complaints with the inevitable exception of John Terry.
Brendan Rodgers introduced Wayne Routledge at the expense of Leon Britton at the break as he sought to line up with greater width to capitalise on his side's numerical advantage, and they nearly grabbed a goal back as Nathan Dyer thundered an effort against the crossbar from outside the Chelsea box.
The visitors flew out of the blocks at the start of the second half, and Dyer came close as he drilled a fierce shot from the edge of the box, with his effort taking a vicious deflection off the diving Mikel, only to dip agonisingly onto the roof of the net.
Chelsea were almost punished for slack marking in the 55th minute as Ashley Williams ghosted into the box unmarked to power a downward header on target, only for Ramires to clear just off the line.
Both sides made changes as Danny Graham replaced the ineffectual Leroy Lita to inject a further cutting edge in attack for Swansea, while Villas-Boas hauled off Mata with Florent Malouda getting half an hour to make his mark.
Chelsea refused to be dictated to despite being reduced to 10 men, however, and Nicolas Anelka unleashed a rasping strike from range as the ball thundered off the crossbar with Vorm comprehensively beaten.
Cole very nearly made it three as Chelsea looked to put the game beyond doubt, but he could only slam his effort wide of the far post from an acute angle after Ramires put him through with just the keeper to beat.
Ramires turned finisher as Jose Bosingwa assumed the role of provider in the 77th minute as the Brazilian zipped into the Swansea box with the visitors' advances upfield leaving them exposed, and the finish was crisp and clinical.
There was still time for Williams to capitalise on some shoddy marking from Chelsea to ghost in at the back post and head home from Mark Gower's cross, but the afternoon was capped off for Chelsea as Drogba made his return as a late substitute and promptly scored in the final seconds with a well-taken finish.
It was not the return to Stamford Bridge that Rodgers had dreamed of, but for Villas-Boas it was a satisfying professional performance from his side and one which sees the Blues move to within three points of top-of-the-table Manchester City.