Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema pummelled Schalke into submission as Real Madrid planted one foot in the Champions League quarter-finals with a 6-1 win on Wednesday.
The Blancos opened the scoring in Germany early on when Bale’s ball was flicked through die Knappen’s defence by Ronaldo for Benzema to pounce and bury in the back of the net, before the Welshman grabbed a goal of his own, weaving into the box then finishing in the bottom corner.
Ronaldo had plenty of chances to add his name to the scoresheet but struggled to find the net, but finally slammed one his shots home as the second half plodded along, with Benzema converting from a tight angle on a Madrid counterattack shortly afterwards.
Sergio Ramos carved open Schalke’s decimated defence with 20 minutes still remaining and Bale duly delivered the visitors a fifth at the Veltins Arena, burying the ball neatly into the back of the net.
Ronaldo capitalised on lackadaisical Schalke defending by waltzing in a sixth for Madrid with a minute left on the clock, although Klaas-Jan Huntelaar bagged the goal of the night by volleying home an absolute beauty in stoppage-time for the hosts.
The comfortable victory sees Jens Keller’s men facing almost-certain elimination from Europe at the last 16 stage and eases any pressure on Carlo Ancelotti’s side ahead of the return leg at the Santiago Bernabeu on March 18.
More to follow…