Roberto Di Matteo admitted his Schalke 04 team’s 5-0 home thrashing at the hands of his former club Chelsea was the most painful defeat of his career. But he stressed that Chelsea were ‘a really great team’ on the night.
Di Matteo, who led Chelsea to Champions League success in 2012, and was warmly acknowledged by the travelling support, added, “It's certainly a disappointing night for us in terms of the scoreline, and also the way we played. But if you concede too much space and time to those players, they'll exploit that.
“It was a difficult game. If you concede a goal in the second minute from a set-play, of course it doesn't help. We paid them too much respect, weren't aggressive enough, we didn't put enough pressure on them, and they were ice-cold. It was a super, clinical performance from them.”
Schalke now need Chelsea to defeat Sporting Lisbon in London next month while they win against Maribor in Slovenia.
“For us, our focus is on the next game,” said Di Matteo. “We just have to win that. I can’t say if Chelsea will relax, I am not their manager, but in my experience of English football there are no friendly games. They will go for it.”
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