Schalke win delights Di Matteo after Chelsea debacle
Roberto di Matteo was delighted as his Schalke 04 bounced back from their midweek Champions League debacle against his former club Chelsea with a 4-1 thumping of Mainz on Saturday.
Netherlands striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored a hat-trick in Gelsenkirchen as Schalke ran riot to climb to sixth in the Bundesliga table, just four days after being humiliated 5-0 at home by Chelsea in Europe.
"We put in a very good performance and deserved the win over Mainz," said the 44-year-old Di Matteo in only his ninth game as Schalke head coach.
"That was a win for the whole group and was the best reaction we could have expected after the Chelsea defeat.
"We defended very well and then played well going forward."
Schalke`s all-action performance in the win over Mainz was in stark contrast to their confidence-sapping drubbing at the hands of Chelsea.
Huntelaar fired Schalke into a 2-0 lead after just 25 minutes with two superb goals before Japan striker Shinji Okazaki pulled one back for visitors Mainz.
Schalke made sure of the three points when Huntelaar`s final pass was curled home by Swiss midfielder Tranquillo Barnetta on 54 minutes.
The Dutchman completed his hat-trick when he slammed home Eric-Choupo Moting`s final pass on 61 minutes.
On Tuesday, Di Matteo, who remains the only Chelsea coach to have won the Champions League title, came off second best to Jose Mourinho`s Premier League leaders, who booked their last 16 passage as group winners while Schalke dropped to third in Group G.
Chelsea dominated Schalke from start to finish as defender John Terry scored with a header after just 87 seconds.
Schalke must now beat bottom side Maribor away in Slovenia in 10 days, while hoping Chelsea beat Sporting Lisbon at Stamford Bridge, to reach the knock-out stage.