Chelsea 3 Ipswich Town 1 - Report
But the Germany captain and then Lampard struck excellent free-kicks to break the spirit of the Suffolk visitors.
Chelsea started off well and Florent Malouda forced a fine save from Richard Wright on two minutes as Chelsea went on the offensive from the off.
However, Town countered with a fine attack on seven minutes which saw Danny Haynes' looping header just sail over Petr Cech's crossbar.
Chelsea missed a sitter three minutes later when Ballack was completely free eight yards out but flashed a fierce left-footer wide of goal.
But the inevitable happened and on 16 minutes the home side scored. Lampard sent Ashley Cole free on the left and his first-time by-line pass found Ballack, who connected with a low right-foot volley to send the ball wide of Wright and into the net.
Lampard could have doubled the lead when a controlled build-up play saw his drive from the edge of the box go wide.
On 27 minutes Tommy Miller saw an excellent right-foot free-kick get over the Chelsea wall but fail to dip quickly enough to trouble Cech.
Ipswich got their equaliser on 32 minutes when an Owen Garvan free-kick saw the ball rebound off Ricardo Carvalho's chest into the path of Bruce, who four yards out, tucked home a right-footer past Cech.
Amazingly, a minute later, a quick counter-attack almost saw the visitors take the lead, but Haynes skied over a fine chance from just inside the area.
Two minutes before the break Wright produced a smart save from Jose Bosingwa's left-footer, which was heading for the inside of his near post.
Chelsea took just three minutes to attack the Ipswich goal in the second half - Salomon Kalou junked his was across the edge of the area before unleashing a right-footed drive, but the ball curled just wide of the Ipswich goal.
Didier Drogba returned to the fold on 58 minutes after a two-week absence in the naughty step replacing ineffective Malouda.
Within seconds Ballack hit his second goal with a wonderful right-footed free-kick from 25 yards out, giving Wright no chance.
Wright was forced to make two brave saves on 66 minutes, first from Ballack and then a follow-up from Bosingwa as the Blues went in search of a third goal.
But Lampard struck a brilliant 30-yard right-footed free-kick which sailed past the despairing dive of Wright to secure a victory that was more professional than outstanding.