Former England skipper Terry celebrated at the final whistle by handing his boots to a young Chelsea fan in the visiting crowd.
"It was the right choice to pick John," said Di Matteo. "I had a conversation with John about the game. I speak to all my players all the time. Of course, I considered not picking John. I had to think about what the right team was for the game and eventually I made the right selection.
"John showed his leadership qualities and what a good defender he is for the team."
Asked what he thought of Terry giving his boots away, Di Matteo replied: "There are always a lot of negative things highlighted about John, but he does a lot of good work as well. He gives a lot of boots away to kids. He does a lot of positive stuff."