Real Madrid amassed a massive 9-2 win over Schalke in their Champions League round-of-16 ties on aggregate as Cristiano Ronaldo scored a brace on the night.
After managing to win 1-6 in the first leg away from home, Real Madrid were all but through to the next round even before the ball was kicked at Santiago Bernabéu last night. Schalke had nothing but the proverbial pride to play for, while Real Madrid were keen to use this game as a practice for their upcoming El Clasico and it is fair to say both the teams will fairly happy with the outcome. Schalke managed to avoid another humiliation while Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo looked to be in wonderful form ahead of the big match.
But Real Madrid’s outing was slighting spoiled by the fact that youngster Jese Rodriguez suffered an injury in the opening minutes of the game and had to be substituted. It was later revealed that the 21-year-old, who has impressed whenever he has received the opportunity, is expected to be out for six months with his anterior cruciate ligament injury.
“After the exploration and scans taken at the Hospital Sanitas La Moraleja, our player Jese Rodriguez has been diagnosed with complete tear of the anterior cruciate ligament of the right knee.” – Read an official statement by the Spanish club after the game.
In the match, it didn’t take long for Cristiano Ronaldo to stamp his mark as he opened the scoring in the 21st minute of the match after being set up by Gareth Bale. But to their credit Schalke fought back and level the score as Tim Hoogland scored a rare goal from the outside the box as his deflected shot left Iker Casillas flat footed in goal.
The home side looked dangerous at every opportunity they moved forward in attack and if not for some glaring misses by Alvaro Morata, they would have won this game by a bigger margin. Finally Cristiano Ronaldo provided Real Madrid with the lead once again with wonderful solo effort in the 74th minute. Just seconds later, Morata finally converted an opportunity to put the game beyond doubts after Ronaldo hit the post with his effort and Gareth Bale assisted the striker to find the back of the net.
Schalke defender Tim Hoogland insisted that the team left with their heads held high after a much better performance in the second leg, where they kept Real Madrid at bay for a long period in the match.
“We wanted to exit the competition with our heads held high and I think we managed to do that. Our first half performance was good and we even created several chances to score. The UEFA Champions League chapter is over for us this season but we have nothing to be ashamed off. Ronaldo and [Gareth] Bale are world-class players. It was a great experience to play against them.” – He said.