Overwhelming favourites for the 2010 final against Portsmouth after winning the Premier League title in style, Chelsea were struggling to make a breakthrough at Wembley.
Carlo Ancelotti's side were in control but Kevin-Prince Boateng had a penalty saved by Petr Cech as Pompey passed up the chance to take a shock lead.
But just before the hour Ivorian Drogba placed a precise free-kick into the corner of David James's goal to spark wild celebrations.
It was the striker's 37th goal of a dominant season as he maintained his outstanding scoring run at Wembley to six successive matches.
Chelsea, who hit the woodwork five times, could even afford to have Frank Lampard miss a penalty as they retained the Cup.