Schalke 0 Chelsea 5
Roberto Di Matteo played down the talk of a revenge mission as Chelsea visited Gelsenkirchen but it was embarrassment that greeted the Italian as the Blues eased into the knockout stages of the Champions League.
Chelsea boss 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.
But he need not have worried as his ruthless side blew Schalke away.
“The team played a fantastic match,” said Mourinho. “At this moment this team is very mature and very confident.
“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.”
“The reality is the team is playing very well.”
Chelsea stormed into a lead as Schalke goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann did well to turn a Diego Costa effort behind for a corner in the opening minute, only to see Terry head home Cesc Fabregas’ set-piece to silence the Veltins Arena.
Schalke were two down before the game was 30 minutes old as Willian exchanged passes with Eden Hazard before firing a low shot which Fahrmann failed to keep out as the ball squirmed underneath him.
Schalke’s fans soon turned on their side as they were caught dawdling on the ball and Costa intercepted an under-hit back pass but was unable to keep his balance as he tried to round Fahrmann and was crowded out.
The respite was short-lived as Fabregas delivered another corner into the danger area and Kirchhoff mistimed his headed clearance under no pressure from a Chelsea shirt and it flashed into his own net to put the visitors well and truly in command.
The second half started in much the same vein as Costa robbed Santana of possession, only for the Brazilian defender to atone for his error by getting back to poke the ball away as the in-form Chelsea striker loomed.
Di Matteo altered both his system and his personnel at the break and, although Schalke were able to keep better hold of the ball, it was Chelsea still carving out the better chances.
Branislav Ivanovic fired a volley wide having been found in the box by a clever Willian pass before Costa, still without a European goal for Chelsea, fluffed his lines when fed by Oscar.
That was the last piece of action for Costa as he was replaced by Drogba, the man who scored the decisive penalty in the final against Bayern Munich, shortly afterwards.
The experienced forward netted his first chance of the evening as both he and Willian beat the offside trap and the Brazilian unselfishly squared for Drogba to tap home.
Fellow substitute Ramires headed home just 73 seconds later as Drogba turned provider and Chelsea moved further ahead.
Chelsea decided enough was enough at five and saw out the rest of the contest to leave Mourinho no doubt happy with progression and, in all likelihood, inwardly delighted at putting one over on Di Matteo.
SCHALKE: Fahrmann, Uchida, Howedes, Felipe Santana, Aogo, Hoger, Neustadter, Kirchhoff (Clemens 46), Choupo-Moting, Boateng (Meyer 63), Huntelaar.
CHELSEA: Courtois, Ivanovic, Terry, Cahill, Azpilicueta, Willian, Fabregas (Schurrle 78), Matic, Oscar (Ramires 75), Hazard, Costa (Drogba 66).
Referee: J Eriksson (Sweden).
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved