Skip to main content

Di Matteo delighted to end 'negative sequence'

The 446-kilometre journey to the south of Germany has been a tough one of late for Schalke, as they had lost their past four at the Mercedes Benz Arena - prior to Saturday's 4-0 win.

Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting scored twice inside 21 minutes, including in the first minute, sandwiching a Max Meyer goal as Schalke ran riot.

Choupo-Moting rounded off his hat-trick in the 61st minute.

Di Matteo, who has been at Schalke since October, said getting back to winning ways at the venue - where they had conceded 10 goals in their previous four visits - was a positive for his men.

"I'm obviously very happy about our win today. Stuttgart is not the best place for this club, especially in the past," Di Matteo said.

"But we are happy we could end this negative sequence. We produced a good team performance. 

"The early goal helped us and our match tactics, that's for sure. 

"We scored four goals today, but we also defended very well. 

"We didn't allow a lot of space and just a few chances. 

"I'm happy about it and that we got these three points. It's important for the standings and we hope to continue winning."

Schalke sit in fifth on 23 points, goal difference behind fourth-placed Bayer Leverkusen.

Di Matteo lauded Schalke's strength in their unpredictability, with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar and Choupo-Moting leading their line.

"We are more unpredictable because we have two very dangerous strikers. They work together on the pitch and they understand each other very well," he said.

"But the whole team feels comfortable in this system. We don't allow a lot of space for our opponents. 

"But it's about how you adapt to a system. A system can help but it's the players who have got to play it."

Choupo-Moting, a 33-time Cameroon international, credited Di Matteo for commandeering their rampant victory.

"It's a special day for all of us, but for me as well. That was the first hat-trick of my career," Choupo-Moting said, as reported by Bundesliga's official website.

"Scoring in any game is always a pleasant experience and to go in front so early on away from home was very important. 

"We were determined to get the three points today and played well from the first minute to the last. 

"We wanted to give our all for the duration of the 90 minutes and we managed to follow our coach's instructions today."