Eidur Gudjohnsen scored twice and Joe Cole his first for the club as Chelsea overcame courageous Notts County in the Carling Cup.
Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink also got on the scoresheet as Chelsea booked their place in the last 16 of the competition in front of a packed Stamford Bridge.
But Notts County, in administration and in need of raising £3m before 8 December, troubled their illustrious hosts.
And Tony Barras ensured a moment of glory for the visitors with an equaliser in the first-half, while Mark Stallard scored a consolation with minutes remaining.
County's performance was all the more remarkable given the side Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri fielded.
Damien Duff, Juan Sebastian Veron and Floyd Hasselbaink all started for the Blues.
And Hasselbaink opened the scoring with a stunning strike after 14 minutes.
Moments before, the visitors had almost taken the lead, but Nick Fenton's effort was cleared off the Chelsea line by Glen Johnson.
Marco Ambrosio saved a Clive Platt header before another superb delivery from Darren Caskey paid dividends.
midfielder floated in a corner to the far post where Barras nodded home.
But Chelsea took the lead again nine minutes later, Johnson crossing for Gudjohnsen to head past Steve Mildenhall.
Simon Baldry had a penalty shout turned down by referee Rob Styles in the 62nd
minute as County once again threatened the Chelsea goal.
But Billy Dearden's side were caught on the counter as Johnson fired a long ball
to Jesper Gronkjaer, who was fouled by Mildenhall fouled in the County area.
Gudjohnsen smashed home the subsequent penalty to seemingly take the game beyond the visitors.
But County reduced their deficit in the 85th minute following a
dreadful blunder from Ambrosio, who failed to catch a loose ball which Stallard
Chelsea restored their advantage when Mario Stanic's shot was blocked into the
path of Cole, who slotted home.
Chelsea: Ambrosio, Johnson, Melchiot, Huth, Babayaro,
Gronkjaer (Cole 70), Geremi, Veron, Duff, Gudjohnsen,
Hasselbaink (Stanic 45).
Subs Not Used: Sullivan, Lampard, Bridge.
Notts County: Mildenhall, Fenton, Barras,
Richardson (Nicholson 80), Baraclough, Riley (Bolland 86),
Jenkins, Caskey, Baldry, Heffernan (Stallard 65), Platt.
Subs Not Used: Hackworth, Garden.
Booked: Mildenhall, Baldry.
Referee: R Styles (Hampshire).