SCHALKE 0 CHELSEA 5
CHELSEA manager Jose Mourinho eased concerns over a December fixture pile-up by masterminding a thrashing in Gelsenkirchen that guaranteed his team qualify for the Champions League last 16 as group winners.
Strikes from captain John Terry, Willian, an own goal, Didier Drogba and fellow substitute Ramires barely reflected the Blues utter dominance and equalled the club’s biggest away win in the competition.
With their group mission accomplished, a relieved Mourinho can now afford to rest key players for the final fixture, at home to Sporting Lisbon, in preparation for a hectic festive schedule. “They did a fantastic match,” he said. “In this moment this team is very mature, very confident. Obviously to win 5-0 away in the Champions League is not normal but the performance was very impressive. We did it and we did it with one game in advance, so I think it’s important for us to have in December one match against Sporting when we don’t need the points to qualify or even to finish first.”
Chelsea showed their impatience by scoring in the second minute, when Terry rose highest to head in a left-wing Cesc Fabregas corner.
Willian doubled the visitors’ lead just before the half-hour by drilling under goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann. Chelsea effectively wrapped up the group win just before half-time when another Fabregas corner prompted Schalke defender Jan Kirchhoff to beat Felipe Santana to the cross and divert past Faehrmann. Drogba heaped further misery onto the hosts in the 76th minute by tapping in Willian’s pass from close range, and soon after crossed for Ramires to nod a simple fifth.