Guus Hiddink signed off as Chelsea boss in perfect style, as his charges came from a goal down to beat Everton in the FA Cup final.
With Wembley bathed in sunshine, the Everton fans were out of their seats just 25 seconds in as Louis Saha fired them ahead.
Chelsea regrouped from the setback and Didier Drogba headed them level on 21 minutes.
Hiddink’s charges took a grip on the game after Drogba’s leveller but it took them until 19 minutes from time for Frank Lampard to grab the winner.
The margin of victory could have been greater as the excellent Florent Malouda had a legitimate goal not given, but it mattered little in the end as Chelsea secured their first piece of silverware since their FA Cup success in 2007.
David Moyes had agonised about whether to start with Saha and it took a night of restless sleep to come down in favour of the Frenchman over Jack Rodwell. The decision was vindicated in spectacular style just 25 seconds in as Saha netted the fastest goal in FA Cup final history.
Chelsea had two bites at the cherry to clear but had no answer to Marouane Fellaini who nodded the ball into the path of Saha and he rifled a crisp shot beyond Petr Cech from 16 yards.
Chelsea took some time to settle and a wild free kick and snap-shot that went well over from Michael Essien were their sum efforts in the opening quarter-hour.
Drogba looked extremely frustrated by Chelsea’s slovenly play in the opening 20 minutes, but the Ivorian burst onto the scene in trademark style to level the scores.
Nicolas Anelka and Lampard combined to free Malouda in space on the left flank. The Frenchman produced the kind of cross that Drogba feasts on and he did not disappoint, as he darted in front of Joleon Lescott and planted a header beyond Tim Howard.
Chelsea’s previously anonymous midfield suddenly sprang into life, with Lampard, John Obi Mikel and Michael Essien first to the loose balls. This led Marouane Fellaini, who was the victim of a crude challenge from Essien that somehow escaped censure, and Saha to drop deep in search of the ball, but this caused them more problems as it denied them an outlet ball.
Chances were at a premium in the first half and as such Ashley Cole should have done better after a clearance cannoned off Fellaini and looped into his path. The Blues full back left Tony Hibbert, who looked extremely nervous after picking up an early caution, trailing but he lashed his effort well over the bar.
Moyes removed the disappointing Hibbert from the line of fire at the start of the second half and threw on the lesser spotted Lars Jacobsen for only his sixth appearance of the season.
The Dane showed his defensive qualities early in the second half as he was on hand to deny Cole a shooting chance, after Chelsea had broken at pace following some sloppy play from Steven Pienaar.
On the hour mark Chelsea produced a moment of real quality as Lampard dinked a pass beyond the Everton defence that invited Anelka to gallop onto. The forward showed a clean pair of heels to his marker and delivered a deft lob over Howard that went a foot of the bar.
Petr Cech was a virtual spectator for over an hour following Saha’s early strike but he showed concentration is one of his strong suits when clasping a long-range snap-shot from Tim Cahill.
Saha may not be at full tilt but the striking instincts remain strong and he gave a reminder of his qualities on 67 minutes when getting across his marker flashing a header narrowly over the bar.
The greater threat continued to come from Chelsea and shortly after Drogba had turned a cross from the dangerous Malouda a yard wide, Lampard edged Chelsea ahead.
The danger was not obvious when Lampard collected the ball 30 yards from goal, but a trick took him away from Phil Neville and a powerful drive proved too hot for Howard to handle.
With Everton on the ropes, Malouda had a chance to put the game to bed but he did not do justice to Lampard’s clever pass as he fired his shot over the top.
Malouda thought he had got his name on the scoresheet with 12 minutes remaining and he almost certainly should have. The winger lashed a stunning drive towards goal, it thudded against the bar and landed over the line before bouncing back out.
With the temperature gauge touching 40 degrees, Everton were unable to produce the grandstand finish and Anelka should have added a third in injury-time but dinked his shot over the bar.