Jose Mourinho's side fell behind to a Craig Bellamy goal in Wales but fought back, with the Germany international and the Spain striker both bagging a goal for the Blues
The Blues, with nothing to play for, fell behind to the already-relegated hosts, with Craig Bellamy's shot deflected in by Cesar Azpilicueta, but second-half strikes from Andre Schurrle and Fernando Torres gave Jose Mourinho's side a season-ending victory and sent their fans back to London happy.
|VIEW FROM CARDIFF
|By Liam Twomey
Chelsea may have finished their season with a win, but this was a match which highlighted exactly why Jose Mourinho is yet to win a trophy since his return to Stamford Bridge.
Despite going ahead Cardiff City were never the better side, and only woeful finishing and decision-making in the final third prevented the Blues from turning the match around earlier than they did.
The introduction of Andre Schurrle proved the catalyst, with the German scoring the equaliser and setting up the winner for Fernando Torres, who celebrated with the reluctance of a man who looks as though he knows his time at Stamford Bridge is done.
With the destination of the title being decided at the Etihad Stadium and at Anfield and Cardiff already relegated, this always felt a decidedly flat affair. There were other possible farewells - Ashley Cole marked his with the captain's armband, Craig Bellamy with a deflected goal - but the concerns of both sets of fans will be on the future rather than the past as they head into what will be a pivotal summer.
That was sealed long before the season's last act, although defeat meant Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's men were unable to avoid the ignominy of finishing at the foot of the table.
A balloon-laden pitch - Cardiff fans littered the playing area with blue in the hope owner Vincent Tan will revert to the club's original colours - could not halt early Chelsea pressure, Oscar firing a warning shot when curling just over.
Their early verve did not yield too many more openings, though, and Cardiff took advantage in the 15th minute.
Bellamy picked up the ball, moved to the edge of the area and unleashed an ambitious pot-shot that deflected off Cesar Azpilicueta to wrong-foot Mark Schwarzer.
The visitors responded impressively, with Oscar seeing a deflected effort go just wide before Mohamed Salah missed the target from a tight angle.
Clear-cut chances continued to elude Chelsea and their opponents almost capitalised once more, Fraizer Campbell wriggling into the box and firing over.
Determined to get back into it, Mourinho's side pressed further forward after the break with Torres curling wide from just outside the area.
Yet, as was the case in the opening period, possession did not initially lead to goals - although the visitors came agonisingly close when Eden Hazard stuck the side-netting.
Chelsea did finally draw level in the 73rd minute. After Azpilicueta - having somehow found himself in the area - had forced a fine reaction save from David Marshall and hit the crossbar with the follow-up, Schurrle showed fine poise to power a volley into the net.
As is often the case, one goal immediately brought a second as Torres, who was just onside, chested down Branislav Ivanovic's header into the area and finished coolly.
Schurrle almost added further gloss when his effort was tipped over by Marshall, yet it mattered little as Chelsea signed off with a win.