Branislav Ivanovic scord the decisive goal that finally suck spirited Liverpool at Stamford Bridge tonight, as the Blues sealed their berth in the Capital One Cup final on March 1.
The Serbian rose above the rest to latch onto Willian's free kick four minutes into the added period after a goalless 90 minutes, to arrow the ball past a prone Simon Mignolet as Chelsea saw of a spirited but ultimately defeated Liverpool.
Jose Mourinho danced with his dugout team as the whistle went, showing just how important it was to to see off his deadly cup rivals and book a place at Wembley on March 1.
An intense opening phase saw both sides produce counter-attacking moves, Raheem Sterling for Liverpool, Diego Costa for Chelsea the chief architects.
While both defences stood firm, tempers flared on 12 minutes when Costa knocked over Emre Can and then trod on his ankle. The German leaped up to confront Costa and got involved with Jose Mourinho in a war of words.
Referee Michael Oliver decided to take no action on either player.
Kurt Zouma made a hash of a header on 17 minutes allowing Sterling a free run on goal,
Thankfully he and Filipe Luis managed to get behind the ball and thwart the speed merchants.
Chelsea had a clear penalty dismissed by Oliver on 22 minutes when Costa twisted and turned in the penalty area. Martin Skertel clipped the Brazil-born Spain striker, but incredibly, Oliver gave a goal kick.
Steven Gerrard cut Chelsea apart with a great ball on 26 minutes, but Alberto Moreno took a touch too many and his shot was well saved by Thiabaut Courtois.
The Chelsea stopper had to be at his best to foil Jordan Henderson who raced clear and let fly with a low, left foot. He stuck out his left leg to clear the goal-bound shot.
A free kick by Oscar, that sizzled just wide of Simon Mignolet goal seven minutes from the break was the Blues best effort of the half.
He followed this up with another one which went wide 60 seconds later.
Skertel could have lashed the ball into his own net three minutes after the restart when Hazard's mazy byline run saw his ball arrow into the six-hard box. Skertel stuck out his leg and the ball sailed over the crossbar.
Jose Mourinho was forced into an unscheduled substitution when Fabregas was replaced after suffering a leg injury in a clash with John Terry a minute later, Ramires replaced the Spain midfielder.
Lucas was yellow-carded for hacking down Oscar who was in full flow as tempers rose again as Skrtel lashed out at Costa as the ball drifted towards the byline.
Hazard had a glorious chance to score on 59 minutes but screwed his shot wide of the Liverpool goal, once again.
Next up was Costa who drove a fierce drive down the throat of Mignolet. The see-saw 'you attack, we attack' was continued 30 seconds later when Sterling set up Gerrrad. But he too shot straight into the gleeful palms of Courtois.
A deliberate hand ball by Henderson, should have resulted in another yellow card, and as he already had one, a red card. Oliver, inexplicably just gave Chelsea a free kick.
With no further action, extra time loomed.
Four minutes into the extra 30-minute period, Chelsea struck when Willian's beautiful free kick was met with the full meat of Ivanovic's head and he bulleted the ball from close range past Migmolet.
Henderson missed a sitter of a header on 99 minutes as the Reds tried desperately for an equaliser.
But Jose game-managed the remaining minutes and the Chelsea faithful roared their heads off as the final whistle blew.
Teams, Chelsea, Courtois, Ivanovic, Luis, Fabregas, Zouma, Oscar, Hazard, Costa, Matic, Willian, Terry
Subs, Cech, Ake, Ramires, Drogba, Remy, Cahill, Azpilicueta
Liverpool, Mignolet, Gerrard, Coutinho,Henderson, Sakho, Moreno, Lucas,Can, Sterling, Skrtel Markovic
Subs,Ward, Johnson, Lovren, Lambert, Lallana, Allen, Balotelli.
Referee: Michael Oliver