Fernando Torres marked his 100th start for Chelsea by scoring twice in a 3-0 UEFA Champions League win at Schalke.
The Spain striker opened the scoring with an early header and was on target again in the second half to take his tally to five goals in his last five Champions League games.
And Eden Hazard put the icing on the cake with a third goal three minutes from time as Schalke pressed forward.
Jose Mourinho's side did not have things all their own way in Gelsenkirchen on Tuesday, but the victory ensured they are now joint top of Group E along with their German opponents.
Schalke won their opening two matches in the group and had not conceded a goal before facing Chelsea, but a lack of cutting edge in the absence of injured duo Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Jefferson Farfan was evident.
Mourinho made five changes to the Chelsea side that beat Cardiff City in the Premier League on Saturday, with Cesar Azpilicueta starting in an unfamiliar left-back role as Ryan Bertrand dropped to the bench.
Huntelaar (knee) and Farfan (groin) were sidelined for the hosts, but they did welcome back midfielders Kevin-Prince Boateng and Jermaine Jones along with goalkeeper Timo Hildebrand.
Torres was another player recalled to Chelsea's line-up and he took less than two minutes to make his presence felt, turning sharply in the box and unleashing a shot that was deflected for a corner.
And the Spain striker opened the scoring three minutes later when Frank Lampard’s corner was flicked on by Branislav Ivanovic and the former Liverpool striker stooped unmarked at the back post to head home.
Schalke started to get into their stride and marauding right-back Atsuto Uchida burst into the Chelsea penalty area but blazed high and wide at full stretch after 26 minutes.
Boateng stung Petr Cech's palms with a long-range drive seven minutes before half-time and from the resulting corner the Chelsea keeper had to be alert once again to tip over Roman Neustadter's towering header.
Torres was unfortunate not to double Chelsea's lead five minutes after the break when he met Lampard's inviting free-kick with a glancing header that struck the bar.
The 29-year-old then got on the end of another Lampard corner but headed wide at the far post from close range before Cech palmed away a shot from Benedikt Howedes at the other end.
Howedes had another great chance but headed wide after 66 minutes and he was made to pay when Chelsea extended their advantage three minutes later.
Schalke were caught in possession in midfield and Chelsea broke sharply, with Oscar racing down the right and finding Torres, who took a touch to round Hildebrand before slotting into the empty net.
And Hazard added a third three minutes from time when he raced through on goal and produced a clinical left-foot finish into the far corner.
|Coach: J. Keller|
for J. Jones 71'
for K. Boateng 71'
for M. Meyer 78'
|Exhausted Keane needs a break, says O´Neill|
|Football League Review: Bristol City bounce back|
|Real Sociedad 3 Elche 0: Vela hat-trick gives Moyes first win|
|Marseille 2 Nantes 0: Bielsa´s men stretch lead to four points|
|Freiburg 1 Stuttgart 4: Harnik secures win on Stevens´ return|
|Dordrecht 0 Willem II 4: Armenteros double inspires visitors|
|Bayern Munich turnover breaks half-a-billion barrier|
|Eintracht Frankfurt v Borussia Dortmund: Gundogan demands winning run|
|Milan v Udinese: Inzaghi out to break winless run|
|Pele showing signs of improvement|
|Prandelli axed by Galatasaray|
|Tottenham v Everton: Martinez expects Tottenham to be a force|
|Valencia v Barcelona: Mathieu eyes triumphant Mestalla return|
|Roma v Inter: Campagnaro eyes first-team chance|
|Estoril 3 PSV 3: Wijnaldum puts visitors through|
|Nesta comes out of retirement to join Chennaiyin|
|Messi ´obviously´ not joining Chelsea, says Mourinho|
|Everton and West Ham fined by FA|
|Romario-like Aguero will be decisive, acknowledges Koeman|
|Southampton v Manchester City: Koeman issues challenge|
|Juventus v Torino: Champions target 25 in a row in derby|
|South Africa v Ivory Coast: Squad players get platform to impress|
|McCarthy´s hamstring issues concerning Martinez|
|Rodgers ignoring talk of the sack|
|Mourinho keen to avoid complacency|
|Tottenham and Legia face disciplinary hearings|
|Klopp convinced Dortmund´s fortunes will turn|
|Dzeko close to City return|
|Real hit back at Platini over Ballon d´Or comments|
|Ancelotti: Tired Kroos will play|
|United defender Shaw out for ´a few weeks´|
|Melbourne Victory 3 Adelaide United 2: Hosts edge five-goal thriller to go top|
|Mexes determined to stay at Milan|
|Guardiola positive despite City defeat|
|Hull striker Hernandez out of United clash|
|River Plate 1 Boca Juniors 0 (agg 1-0): Pisculichi goal sends hosts into final|
|Wenger confirms Arteta lay-off|
|Negredo not ´obsessed´ with ending barren run|
|Kroos admits fatigue|
|Keane quits Villa role|
|Henry vows to help Arsenal after retirement|
|Everton can go far in Europe - Jagielka|
|Pardew expects Carroll return|
|Michu undergoes ankle surgery|
|Brandao sentenced to prison|
|Allardyce slams ´rather silly´ Tomkins|
|Rodgers similar to Wenger - Toure|
|J.League Preview: Flying Gamba chasing Urawa|
|Benitez happy to progress|
|Montella: Fiorentina have ´impressive mentality´|
|Pele ´doing fine´, receiving kidney treatment|
|Ausilio praises Handanovic´s ´remarkable statistics´|
|We need to improve - Stambouli|
|Estoril versus PSV postponed due to rain|
|UEFA Europa League Review: Feyenoord and Everton qualify in style|
|Martinez hails Everton perfection|
|Tottenham 1 Partizan 0: Stambouli settles it for Spurs|
|Inter 2 Dnipro 1: Osvaldo strikes as 10-man hosts earn hard-fought win|
|Tottenham-Partizan clash temporarily suspended due to pitch invasions|
|McKinlay named Moyes´ assistant|
|Poyet issues Chelsea challenge|
|Wolfsburg 0 Everton 2: Martinez´s men secure top spot|
|Lambert defends Bent loan move|
|Sunderland v Chelsea: Johnson eyes next major scalp|
|Riera released by Udinese|
|QPR v Leicester City: Pearson aiming to build on positives|
|Galatasaray and Anderlecht face disciplinary proceedings|
|Liverpool v Stoke City: Hughes plotting Anfield success|
|Vermaelen out for four to six months|
|Swansea City v Crystal Palace: Monk looking for positive response|
|Printant to remain Bastia head coach|
|Irvine knew nothing of Berahino drink-driving case|
|Pele admitted to special care unit|
|West Ham v Newcastle United: Allardyce pinpoints vital phase|
|Skripnik agrees three-year extension at Werder|
|Monk rubbishes talk of Michu return|
|FA charges Whelan over comments|
|Burnley v Aston Villa: Lambert laments list of absentees|
|Manchester United v Hull City: Bruce wary of in-form Rooney|
|Hughes hopeful over unwell trio|
|Grant named as Ghana coach|
|Bielsa expecting tough Nantes challenge|
|Basel charged by UEFA following pitch invasion|
|West Brom v Arsenal: Mertesacker refocusing attention after midweek win|
|Colaco banned by FIFA|
|Championship Preview: Derby head to happy hunting ground|
|Hertha Berlin v Bayern Munich: Hosts out to take advantage|
|Taylor injury ´not as bad as first feared´|
|Wilshere out for three months|
|Torosidis suffers calf strain|
|Malaga v Real Madrid: Ancelotti´s men in search of sweet 16|
|England climb FIFA rankings, Germany remain number one|
|Bolasie staying put - Warnock|
|Sewe Sport v Al Ahly: Ivorians eye more history|
|Schalke lose Matip with broken foot|
|Paris Saint-Germain v Nice: Ibrahimovic looks to end Ligue 1 goal drought|
|K. League Preview: Seoul, Steelers tussle for third|
|No complaints over FA charge for Allardyce|
|Redknapp ready for crucial run|
|Zapata targets regular first-team role at Milan|
|Fabregas revels in career-best form|
|Eriksen claims Tottenham struggling to ´connect´|
|MLS Preview: Schmid labels Galaxy ´physical´|
|Costa Rican Primera Division Review: Cartagines secure semi-finals berth|
|Serie A Preview: Roma out to stay in touch with Juve|
|The Strongest 1 Bolivar 1: Capdevila strike saves leaders|
|Sao Paulo 1 Atletico Nacional 0 (agg 1-1, 1-4 on penalties): Colombians reach final|
|Cruzeiro 0 Atletico Mineiro 1 (agg 0-3): Culpi´s men win first Copa do Brasil|
|Malmo´s Hareide furious with referee´s injustice|
|Dermendzhiev elated with Ludogorets display|
|Defour withdrawal stalled Anderlecht|
|Atletico achievement delights Simeone|
|Atletico did ´many´ things well - Michel|
|Raul Garcia promises no let-up from Atletico|
|Missed chances disappoint Rolfes|
|La Liga Preview: Real out to break club record at Malaga|
|Ancelotti praises defence after record-equalling win|