Gelsenkirchen - Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting is getting into the habit of finding the net in big games for FC Schalke 04. The Cameroon international, who scored in the Royal Blues Revierderby victory over Borussia Dortmund earlier in the season, bagged a brace in die Knappen's 3-2 win over in-form VfL Wolfsburg on Saturday.
Watch Kevin-Prince Boateng's sublime assist for Choupo-Moting's second goal on the Bundesliga's official YouTube channel:
After the match, the 25-year-old talked to bundesliga.com about Schalke's new style of play and his own role in it, as well as how much he is enjoying himself in Gelsenkirchen right now, despite a shaky moment late on against the Wolves.
bundesliga.com: Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, despite leading 3-0 at one stage, Schalke were holding on at the end. What are your feelings about this game?
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting: It was a hard-fought win, but also a deserved one. We unnecessarily let our opponents get back into the game. Their second goal was extremely unfortunate too - first Benedikt Höwedes headed the ball against Felipe, and then Bendtner turned it in with his first touch of the game. When it's suddenly only 3-2, you do start to panic a little. But we shouldn't let these things happen and we've got to work on that in the future. We've got to be able to finish off a game in which we started so strongly and played such good football in a serious and dominant manner.
bundesliga.com: You've now moved on to five goals for the season, thanks to a cool finish for your second - or was it not as cool as it looked?
Choupo-Moting:(smiles) If it looked that way, then that's the way it was. Of course I'm delighted that the ball went in. It was a great pass from Kevin and I had to decide what to do in a flash. Right at the last split-second, I saw a Wolfsburg player sliding in so I was able to skip past him, and the rest is history.
bundesliga.com: You've formed a partnership with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar in Schalke's new-look system. Does this style of play suit you in particular?
Choupo-Moting: I was delighted to be back playing alongside the Hunter. The closer you play to the opposition goal, the more chances you generally get to score too. I think this system suited every single one of us against Wolfsburg. The coach had obviously analysed them well in advance and we knew that Wolfsburg have a very strong attack, but that also opens up gaps at the back and we exploited them fully in the first half.
bundesliga.com: In the second half, hardly anything was working for you up front. Huntelaar looked exasperated at times because no balls were coming through. Is that how you felt too?
Choupo-Moting: We were 3-0 up and it's obvious that your opponents have to raise their game and we also sat back a little. Of course Wolfsburg then had renewed hope when it got to 3-2 and I can understand why Klaas was so frustrated. I've probably also been annoyed like that before, but in such situations, you've just got to fight to the end. That's what we did and, overall, we played a very good game despite not being the clear favourites, considering who we were up against. Wolfsburg have been in top form lately and you've got to recognise that too.
bundesliga.com: Is this style of play - an attack-minded 3-5-2 which also reverts to a 5-3-2 defensively - also a good solution for the future, maybe on Tuesday against Chelsea FC?
Choupo-Moting: Of course it's the coach who decides that. Like I said, we had analysed our opponents beforehand and that led to us playing this way. It worked well against Wolfsburg, but we're bound to play different styles depending on our opponents and their tactics.
bundesliga.com: But it at least looked good in the first half, both up front and defensively…
Choupo-Moting: Yes, and we also played good football, like many have not seen around here for a while. It was great fun out there, and the fans also enjoyed it, I think. It's certainly positive that we saw how well we can play football with this system.
Dietmar Nolte reporting from Gelsenkirchen