Former England captain John Terry put Jose Mourinho’s side ahead in only the second minute, before Willian doubled the visitors’ advantage and Jan Kirchhoff put through his own net to give the west London side a comfortable half-time lead. Didier Drogba and Ramires added the gloss to the scoreline in the final quarter of an hour to ensure Chelsea qualify for the last 16 as group winners.
The Royal Blues went into the match with the English Premier League leaders buoyed by their 3-2 victory over second-place VfL Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga on Saturday, but die Knappen made the worst possible start in front of a capacity crowd in Gelsenkirchen. Moments after Schalke keeper Ralf Fährmann had thwarted in-form striker Diego Costa from point-blank range, Terry rose highest in the penalty area to nod Cesc Fabregas’ corner past the stranded custodian.
Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting, who netted twice in the win over the Wolves, almost fashioned an equaliser out of nothing ten minutes later, but the Cameroon international’s shot was deflected onto the crossbar by Gary Cahill. Instead, it was Chelsea who scored a second just before the half-hour mark as Willian fired past Fährmann at his near post after a neat one-two with Fabregas. Things then went from bad to worse for Schalke when Jan Kirchhoff headed another Fabregas corner into his own net just before the interval.
The unfortunate Kirchhoff was replaced by Christian Clemens for the start of the second half, but the switch did little to stem the flow of attacks from the 2012 Champions League winners, who could have rubbed more salt into Schalke’s gaping wounds soon after the restart. Felipe Santana did well to block goal-bound efforts from Costa and Belgium international Eden Hazard, before Branislav Ivanovic sent a sweetly-struck volley from a Willian cross inches wide of the angle between post and bar.
The hosts, if truth be told, never threatened to mount an unlikely comeback and the result was put beyond all considerable doubt when substitute Drogba, who scored the winning penalty in the 2012 final, converted Willian’s pass to make it 4-0. With ten minutes remaining, the Ivorian set up Ramires to head home Chelsea’s fifth and cap a thoroughly miserable night for Di Matteo and his players, who must now rely on other results going their way if they are to qualify from Group G.
FC Schalke 04: Fährmann - Uchida, Santana, Höwedes, Aogo - Neustädter, Kirchhoff (Clemens 46'), Höger - Boateng (Meyer 63'), Choupo-Moting, Huntelaar
Chelsea FC: Courtois - Ivanovic, Cahill, Terry, Azpilicueta - Matic, Fabregas (Schürrle 79') - Willian, Oscar (Ramires 75'), Hazard - Diego Costa (Drogba 66')
Goals: 0-1 Terry (2'), 0-2 Willian (29'), 0-3 Kirchhoff OG (44'), 0-4 Drogba (78'), 0-5 Ramires (80')