All Dune And Dusted For Ranieri's Sand Boys (Sky Sports)
Chelsea 4 Charlton Athletic 1
Chelsea got back on the winning trail as they belied the shocking conditions at The Bridge to bring Charlton's eight match unbeaten league run to a shuddering halt.
Claudio Ranieri's English may still be faltering but when he described the pitch during the week as a beach he was spot on - as any grass was a scarce as a parking spot in the Fulham Road on match day.
But goals from Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, William Gallas, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Graeme Le Saux had the game wrapped up in under and hour, while Jason Euell bagged the vistors consolation with the second dubious penalty of the afternoon but that was the sole crumb of comfort for Alan Curbishley's men on a sorry afternoon.
Three minutes in a neat flick by Gudjohnsen set up Le Saux to cross but any contact that Chris Powell then made with Hasselbaink as they went for the ball together was at best minimal.
Referee Mike Dean nevertheless pointed straight to the spot and Hasselbaink sanded himself down before sending Dean Kiely the wrong way.
It was, however, clearly not Powell's day. For he had little time to recover before playing an unwitting role in Chelsea's second goal with just 11 minutes gone.
The lively Jesper Gronkjaer's through-ball looked harmless enough until Powell inadvertently diverted it into the path of and William Gallas took full advantage as his venemous volley flew across Kiely into the far corner of the net.
Charlton, meanwhile, with Jason Euell partnering Kevin Lisbie up front were making little headway as Paul Konchesky scuffed one free-kick wide, Claus Jensen directed another straight into the defensive wall.
John Terry was then forced off through injury and Claudio Ranieri sent on Jody Morris before moved Emmanuel Petit back to central defence.
In a classic counter-attack, Gronkjaer went past the hapless Powell on the right flank and crossed towards Eidur Gudjohnsen at the far post and he dispatched a shot which deflected off Luke Young and evaded Kiely at his near post.
There was some relief for the visitors five minutes before the break when they were awarded their own penalty staright out of the dubious file when Desailly was adjudged to have fouled Lisbie and Euell tucked away the penalty high to Cudicini's right.
There was still time before the interval for Gudjohnsen to volley narrowly over the top, before Alan Curbishley threw on Jonantan Johnasson and Shaun Bartlett for the start of the second period but the host continued in the ascendancy.
Kiely was equal to Le Saux's long range free-kick but was hopelessly embarrassed a minute later as the Channel Islander's left foot thump from the edge of the area went straight through him and nestled in the bottom corner.
Inevitably with Charlton pushing forward more in hope than expectation Gallas got flagged for offside when it was four against one while Hasselbaink lashed a volley high into the upper tier.
Kiely then produced a stunning point blank save to deny Gronkjaer a
second, Desailly glanced a header a foot wide and Zola came on for a
ten minute cameo before Dean put Charlton out of their misery.
Chelsea: Cudicini, Terry
(Morris 22), Desailly, Gallas, Babayaro, Gronkjaer (Zenden 81),
Lampard, Petit, Le Saux (Zola 78), Hasselbaink, Gudjohnsen.
Charlton: Kiely, Young,
Rufus, Fish, Powell (Johansson 45), Kishishev (Bartlett 45), Parker,
Jensen, Konchesky, Lisbie (Fortune 65), Euell.