Schalke 1 Real Madrid 6
Real Madrid virtually secured their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League last night with a stunning 6-1 demolition of Schalke.
The nine-time winners had only won once in 25 trips to Germany before last night’s game at the Veltins-Arena but victory was never in doubt with Real’s most potent attacking weapons coming to the fore.
Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo all scored twice as Madrid left Schalke requiring a miracle at the Bernabeu in three weeks despite Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scoring the goal of the night in time added-on.
The visitors had the lead after 13 minutes when Bale cut in on the right and found Ronaldo whose back-heel took a deflection which found Benzema on the penalty spot and he made no mistake with a crisp finish.
They would not have it all their own way initially, though, and Schalke were almost level within two minutes, Julian Draxler bringing a stunning reflex save out of Real goalkeeper Casilla.
Schalke were playing their part but it was 2-0 in the 21st minute thanks to the quick feet of Bale who beat two men before unleashing a quick shot which went in off the near post.
The home side desperately needed to find something in the second half and Kevin-Prince Boateng forced Casillas into a save from long range in the 47th minute with Max Meyer horribly miscuing the follow-up.
But it was 3-0 in the 52nd as Ronaldo dazzled Joel Matip with two step-overs before firing low past a helpless Fahrmann and Benzema made it 4-0 five minutes later.
The rout continued on 67 minutes when Bale calmly lifted the ball over Fahrmann and Ronaldo had his brace in the 88th minute when he cooly slotted past the keeper.
But the goal of the night was reserved for former Real striker Huntelaar who netted a stunning consolation from the edge of the area.
SCHALKE: Fahrmann, Howedes, Matip, Felipe Santana, Kolasinac (Fuchs 76), Boateng (Goretzka 59), Neustadter, Farfan (Obasi Ogbuke 72), Meyer, Draxler, Huntelaar.
REAL MADRID: Casillas, Carvajal, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Modric, Alonso (Illarramendi 73), Di Maria (Isco 68), Bale (Jese 80), Benzema, Ronaldo.
Referee: Howard Webb (England).
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