Real Madrid bundle Schalke out of Champions League | Sports| German football and major international sports news | DW | 18.03.2014
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Real Madrid bundle Schalke out of Champions League

Schalke have bowed out of the Champions League, losing 3-1 on the night to Real Madrid, and 9-2 on aggregate. The Germans gave a somewhat better account of themselves, though, particularly in the first half.

It was always looking to be an impossible task for the Gelsenkirchen side, after losing 6-1 on their own turf.

Schalke started out better at the Bernebeu than they had at home, denying the Madrid side as much space this time around.

Real Madrid's Portuguese forward Cristiano Ronaldo (R) scores in front of Schalke's Cameroonian defender Joel Matip during the UEFA Champions League round of 16 second leg football match Real Madrid vs Schalke 04 at the Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid on March 18, 2014. AFP PHOTO / JAVIER SORIANO

Ronaldo added to his Champions League tally twice, and it was very nearly three

The quality of Real showed, though, and it was the Spaniards who netted first.

Real bypassed Schalke's defense - Alvaro Morata passing wide in the box to substitute Gareth Bale, whose low cross found Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese international finished from close range to notch up his 40th club goal in all competitions this season.

Just before the half-hour mark, Real almost doubled their tally as Morata sidefooted a similar cross from Bale wide of the net.

A rare bright moment

Instead, it was Schalke who found their way onto the score sheet when, on the break, a shot from 25 meters hit the outstretched boot of Sergio Ramos, the deflection thwarting Real keeper Iker Casillas' efforts to intercept.

Although it was a boost for the Germans, Schalke keeper Ralf Fährmann was the busiest of the two keepers in the minutes to follow, with Madrid's Isco, Morata and Ronaldo all posing a threat.

Schalke came close again, though, in the 40th minute as Max Meyer found Klaas-Jan Huntelaar with a flowing pass. Casillas, though, was quick enough to close the Dutchman down.

Despite a couple more chances for Huntelaar, and one for Julian Draxler, before the break, the scores were level at half time.

With 17 attempts on goal in the first half, Madrid just edged it with nine - but Schalke looked far better than they had at home.

Madrid exploit the gaps

The chances were fewer and farther between in the second half, with Madrid showing just what a richness of talent they possess.

UEFA Champions League Real Madrid - FC Schalke 04 - MADRID, SPAIN - MARCH 18: Cristiano Ronaldo of Real Madrid celebrates with teammate Gareth Bale after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Champions League Round of 16, second leg match between Real Madrid and FC Schalke 04 at Estadio Santiago Bernabeu on March 18, 2014 in Madrid, Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

The Portuguese player's double meant he surpassed his previous Champions League best haul of 12

Notable was Ronaldo's header, from a cross nodded on by Ramos, which was turned over by an on-form Fährmann. While Schalke made space for themselves, though, Real could afford to sit back and exploit moments of weakness.

Ronaldo was the man to do it in the 74th minute, picking up the ball and charging to hammer home like lightning from 20 yards.

Then, in a dizzying attack in the 76th minute, Real netted their third - and almost through Ronaldo again. Swooping onto a rebound, the former Manchester United striker rifled the ball into the underside of the crossbar. It fell to Bale who swept the ball deftly across to Morata to push home, Schalke looking horribly exposed.

Madrid might have added to the Schalke misery, but in the end the Spaniards went in satisfied - and on to the quarterfinals - with a 9-2 aggregate score.

"The honor was back," said Schalke coach Jen Keller, more pleased with his side's performance this time. "The team fought hard and did a good job. The team went out and did what we had planned. We could have got a better result but, after two individual errors, we conceded two goals. We gave a good account of ourselves."

In the night's other Champions League game, Chelsea's 2-0 home victory against Istanbul's Galatasaray - courtesy of goals from Samuel Eto'o and Gary Cahill - saw the London side advance further, winning 3-1 on aggregate.

In Wednesday night action, Borussia Dortmund enjoy home advantage against Zenit Saint Petersburg, having won 4-2 in Russia, while Manchester United will look to overturn a 2-0 first leg deficit against a visiting Olympiakos.

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