Roberto Di Matteo joked that "it was about time" his Chelsea players started scoring "attractive" goals after seeing Juan Mata twice finish off well-worked moves and David Luiz thunder in a long-range free kick as the holders beat FC Nordsjaelland 4-0 in the Champions League.
The Spaniard gave the west Londoners a first-half lead by converting low past Jesper Hansen to round off a smooth pass-and-move by Fernando Torres and Frank Lampard, with his second similarly slick.
Luiz settled Di Matteo’s nerves 11 minutes from time when he powered home a dipping free kick from 25 yards, which spun in off the inside of the near post.
When asked about the Cristiano Ronaldo-esque nature of the defender’s set-piece technique, Di Matteo told Sky Sports: “It was about time! When we practice set-pieces in training, they always score attractive goals. Mata scores them all the time in training, and Luiz [is the same] with free kicks.”
Mata was Chelsea’s most impressive player on the night with, aside from bagging a double, his constant movement a thorn in the hosts’ side throughout.
The former Valencia man was given two weeks off in early September after featuring for both the senior and Olympic Spain squads for Euro 2012 and London 2012, and Di Matteo believes the break has benefitted the attacker.
He continued: “[Mata] had a great season last season and, after his break, he has continued exactly where he finished off. He is playing very well, is in good shape and full of confidence.”
Focusing on the game as a whole, the Italian admitted Chelsea struggled to get into gear before the break, but was pleased with the overall performance.
Petr Cech denied the hosts an unexpected equaliser, minutes before Luiz extended Chelsea’s lead – tipping Joshua John’s curling effort onto the far post in a moment Di Matteo pinpointed as “crucial”.
"I think we were a little bit slow in the first half and much better in the second half, and the goal came at the end, it took a bit of time,” he added.
“I think we had some good chances in the first half as well, you just need to be able to score those goals.
“Petr Cech made a crucial save again. An unbelievable save. It was while [the scoreline was] 1-0.
“All in all, I think it is a good scoreline for us, and the three points and a clean sheet away from home as well, so [it was] a pleasing night.”