A run that stuttered into life under Luiz Felipe Scolari ended with Wembley triumph as Guus Hiddink bowed out by delivering a first piece of major silverware in two years, Everton the beaten finalists at Wembley.
A replay had been needed to eliminate League One Southend United following a 1-1 draw at the Bridge, the Shrimpers taking advantage of some festive set-piece defensive problems to earn a home game.
A foggy evening on the Essex coast started horribly as we fell behind at a corner once more, but Michael Ballack levelled and Salomon Kalou, Nicolas Anelka and Frank Lampard went on to make the win comfortable.
Ballack and Lampard each sunk a free-kick to see Ipswich out, the Tractor Boys beaten 3-1 before a trip to Watford in the fifth round.
Ray Wilkins was in charge with Hiddink watching on following Scolari's dismissal five days earlier, and although we fell behind to a Tamas Priskin strike, an Anelka hat-trick saw us into the last eight, and a straightforward 2-0 win at Coventry would follow, Drogba and Alex scoring the goals.
We went behind again in the semi, this time against Arsenal at Wembley as Theo Walcott opened the scoring, but Florent Malouda and Drogba turned it around as we sensed silverware.
A boiling May afternoon saw Louis Saha net the quickest ever FA Cup Final goal as Everton took a first-minute lead, but Drogba's header levelled in the first half, and Lampard crashed home a left-footed winner 20 minutes from time to end a troubled season on a high, allowing Hiddink to depart his temporary post with a winner's medal.