SCHALKE 1-6 REAL MADRID
Real Madrid beat Schalke in undoubtedly the most one sided game of the last 16 of the Champions League, with all 3 of their front men scoring twice. This leaves the Spanish side as the clear favorites to regain the Champions League crown, something they have not won since 2002.
The world’s most expensive player Gareth Bale was showing the fans exactly why Madrid paid £86million for the Welshman. He was heavily involved in Madrid’s first. When Real started slowly, their front 3 combined to devastating effect, Bale beating both centre halves before squaring to Ronaldo whose back heel toward Bale took a deflection and landed at Karim Benzema’s feet who powered it past Ralf Fährmann.
The German’s could have folded there and then but were almost level instantly when Max Meyer floated a ball into the box and Julian Draxler shot, but a good save by Iker Casillas prevented the German.
The Welshman scored Real’s second of the evening when his quick feet left the Schalke defenders floundering on the edge of the area, before he raced through and coolly slotted past Fährmann in goal.
All the game needed was for Balon D’Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo to get on the score sheet, and in the 32nd minute some trademark lightening stepovers confused the Schalke defence, only for his shot to hit the woodwork and get the grateful Fährmann to collect.
Ronaldo went close again with a typical Real counter attack, and Benzema could not get to a great cross from Marcelo where he certainly would of scored.
It was not long before Ronaldo scored. That man Bale was involved again, providing a brilliant ball that Ronaldo controlled, stepped inside the box, produced his usual array of step-overs leaving the Schalke defender in his dust before powering his shot into the far corener away from the flaying Fährmann.
Soon after came Madrid’s 4th. Benzema fashioned a brilliant one-two with Ronaldo, who teed up the Frenchman with a cute back-heel that he did well to steer home from a tight angle.
Bale was surprisingly not involved in the 4th, but he did make amends with Real’s 5th. Sergio Ramos found Bale over the Schalke defense, who by this stage were tired and fading fast, and he obliged by curling his shot past Fährmann into the corner of the net.
Ronaldo rounded the scoring for Real when substitute Isco pounced after Goretzka lost the ball, passing to Benzema before he slid the ball through to the Portuguese star who easily rounded the keeper for the 6th.
Real had ran Schalke ragged throughout the game, however they could muster one final attack in a very poor 2nd half showing by themselves. The ball was floated over for Klass-Jan Huntelaar and the former Madrid striker produced the goal of the game by taking the ball on the volley and curling it past Iker Casillas. The first goal the Spaniard has conceded in over 900 minutes of football.
The game ended 6 – 1 to Real, and on this performance one will find it hard to see past them to win the Champions League. The front 3 of Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema are all getting into form at the right time – something which must scare any defence.
SCHALKE: Fährmann, Höwedes, Santana, Matip, Kolasinac (Fuchs 76), Meyer, Boateng (Goretzka 59), Draxler, Neustädter, Farfán (Obasi 72), Huntelaar.
SUBS NOT USED: Hildebrand, Hoogland, Papadopoulos, Szalai.
GOALS: Huntelaar 90.
BOOKINGS: Höwedes 62, Huntelaar 72.
REAL MADRID: Casillas, Carvajal, Pepe, Sergio Ramos, Marcelo, Xabi Alonso (Illarramendi 73), Modric, Di María (Isco 68), Cristiano Ronaldo, Bale (Jesé 80), Benzema.
SUBS NOT USED: Lopez, Varane, Conetrao, Arbeloa.
GOALS: Benzema 13, 57; Bale 21, 69; Ronaldo 52, 89.
BOOKINGS: Di Maria 29.
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