Roberto Di Matteo played down the talk of a revenge mission as Chelsea visited Gelsenkirchen to take on his Schalke side – but it was embarrassment that greeted the Italian as the Blues eased into the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Scorers: Chelsea - Terry (2), Willian (29), Jan Kirchhoff (44 og), Drogba (76), Ramires (78)
Current Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho insisted in the build-up to this clash that his side needed to keep up their good form to avoid blowing their place at the head of Group G and ending up playing in the Europa League.
But he need not have worried as his ruthless side simply blew Schalke away – dominating throughout and eventually running out clear 5-0 winners.
The Portuguese was also steadfast that he did not want to talk about Di Matteo’s achievements at Stamford Bridge but did question whether the side the 44-year-old led to European Cup success was a good one.
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The two exchanged a cursory handshake before kick-off that lacked the warmth of a meeting of friends but that was in stark contrast to the travelling Chelsea fans, who sang Di Matteo’s name as the game got under way – and that was as good as it got for their former midfield favourite.
John Terry was suspended when Di Matteo oversaw Chelsea’s memorable European Cup success in 2012 but the two celebrated together in Munich like the captain had been one of those out on the pitch.
And it was Terry who quickly took the sting out of any kind of payback mission Di Matteo was mounting having been axed by Roman Abramovich just six months after the biggest night in the club’s history. The 33-year-old rose to nod home a corner supplied by the impeccable Cesc Fabregas inside 60 seconds to silence the Veltins Arena.
Willian added a second with a fierce low shot on the half-hour and, when Jan Kirchhoff headed in an own goal two minutes before the break, the writing was on the wall.
Chelsea took their foot off the gas during times in the second half but switched on and decided to go for the kill with 15 minutes remaining, as substitutes Didier Drogba and Ramires got in on the goalscoring act. Drogba tapped the ball into an empty net after being set up by Willian, before the Ivorian lofted the ball to the far post for Ramires to nod the fifth goal.
“The team played a fantastic match. At this moment this team is very mature and very confident,” said Mourinho.
“To win 5-0 away in the Champions League is not normal. To win 5-0 in Germany is even more not normal. The performance was complete. It was very impressive. We have a good team. Obviously we can lose and the bad result is waiting for us. But the reality is the team is playing very well.”
Schalke: Fährmann, Uchida, Santana, Neustädter, Höwedes, Höger, Kirchhoff (Clemens 45), Choupo-Moting, Boateng (Meyer 63), Aogo, Huntelaar. Subs not used: Friedrich, Sane, Fuchs, Barnetta, Wetklo.
Chelsea: Courtois, Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta, Fàbregas (Schürrle 78), Matic, Willian, Oscar (Ramires 75), Hazard, Diego Costa (Drogba 66). Suns not used: Cech, Filipe Luis, Zouma, Mikel.
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