Didier Drogba proved to be the difference at Wembley yet again as Chelsea claimed their seventh FA Cup at the expense of Liverpool.

Ramires capitalised on errors from Spanish pair Jose Enrique and goalkeeper Pepe Reina to give The Blues the lead after 11 minutes amid a dire performance from Kenny Dalglish's men.

Drogba then continued his love affair with the oldest cup competition in the world, stroking home his fourth goal in as many finals, but the introduction of Andy Carroll turned the contest, as the former Newcastle United forward pulled a goal back nine minutes after replacing Jay Spearing.

Didier Drogba
Drogba netted the decisive winner at Wembley. Reuters

The England international thought he had levelled the match in the dying embers, but Petr Cech somehow saved his back-post header, a stop that proved pivotal as Roberto Di Matteo grabbed his first trophy as interim boss, ahead of a Champions League final meeting with Bayern Munich in 19 May.

Both sides began without their multi-million pound signing from last January; Fernando Torres and Carroll, both of whom were left on the bench as Salomon Kalou and Craig Bellamy were entrusted with spearheading attacks alongside Drogba and Luis Suarez.

The pair had proven themselves to be adept in knock-out situations this season, but the west Londoners showed themselves to be the strongest in the opening stages, as Juan Mata fed Ramires, who exposed the poor positioning of Enrique, before slamming past Reina, whose lax handling saw him beaten at his near post.

The Reds immediately attempted to hit back, but when Branislav Ivanovic only half cleared Glen Johnson's cross, the Serbian defender threw himself at Bellamy volleyed follow-up.

However, the opportunity represented a rare foray into the Chelsea half for Liverpool, who without a main focal point of their attack, as Suarez gradually dropped deep to pick up possession, lacked dynamism in their attacks.

The midfield pair of Frank Lampard and John Obi Mikel were ably screening the Chelsea back-four in the first half, and after the interval the latter fed Drogba who despite the attention of Martin Skrtel, slotted the ball into the corner.

It was the Ivorian's eighth goal in nine Wembley outings for Chelsea meant he became the first player to score in four separate FA Cup finals, and more importantly doubled his side's lead.

Carroll was immediately introduced, allowing Dalglish's side to adopt a more direct style, and the 23-year-old cut the deficit just nine minutes after coming on, capitalising on Stewart Downing's block on Jose Bosingwa's clearance, to twist the Chelsea defence inside out, and slam into the roof of the net.

The pressure began to build on a jaded looking Chelsea, and Liverpool thought they'd grabbed an equaliser with eight minutes left, when Petr Cech clawed Carroll's header out.

Replays appeared to show the Czech Republic stopper push the ball away before the ball crossed the line, and it proved to be the most decisive intervention of the remainder the afternoon, as the Stamford Bridge club prevailed, leaving Liverpool to consider a season of inconsistency, as Blues fans look forward to a possible double.