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18.03.2014 » Real Madrid 3-1 Schalke. Cruising into the quarter-finals with ease!

Cristiano Ronaldo UEFA Champions League top scorer

A couple months ago, few could have imagined that Real Madrid would qualify to the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals in such an easy way. This Tuesday night the Merengues have beaten Schalke again by 3-1, knocking the German side out of the competition with a clear 9-2 on aggregate.

It's been another walk in the park for Carlo Ancelotti's men, as Real Madrid easily swept Schalke 04 out of the Champions League, after beating the Germans by 3-1 at the Santiago Bernabéu (9-2 on aggregate). On the dawn of a decisive Real Madrid vs Barcelona "Clasico" scheduled for next Sunday night, Ancelotti made a few rotations on his squad, mainly in order to allow a few key players to rest and not risk picking any unnecessary injuries. Nevertheless, there's one player in Madrid who simply couldn't slow down and stop scoring and we're obviously talking about Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portuguese super star added two more goals to his count on this Champions League edition (he has 13 now), which puts him just 1 goal behind Barça's Lionel Messi all-time record of 14 goals, set two years ago, in the 2011-12 season.

Alvaro Morata sealed the deal by scoring Real Madrid's third goal and the Merengues will now have to wait for next Friday in order to know who they'll have to face in the quarter-finals. In the meanwhile, the last 2 quarter finalists will earn their tickets this Wednesday night and there will certainly be high expectations on Old Trafford for the Manchester United vs Olympiakos clash. David Moyes' men will attempt to turn around a 2-goal deficit earned in their 1st leg loss and if they do pull that off, there might still be hope for the Red Devils this season...

Cristiano Ronaldo game photos in Real Madrid vs Schalke
Real Madrid 3-1 Schalke
goals and highlights video:

All Cristiano Ronaldo actions vs Schalke:

As expected, Carlo Ancelotti brought on a few surprises in Real Madrid's line-up for tonight's game against Schalke 04. Iker Casillas was in the goal, right behind the back four formed by Fábio Coentrão on the left, Varane and Sergio Ramos in the center and Nacho on the right. The midfield tasks were delivered to Xabi Alonso, Illarramendi and Isco, while the attacking duties were handed to Jesé, Cristiano Ronaldo and Alvaro Morata. An unusual line-up, but having in mind that the Merengues were stepping into this game with a 6-1 lead coming from the first leg victory in Germany, the risks were minimal.

The match started with a very unpleasant incident though, as Jesé Rodríguez picked up what seems to have been a serious knee ligament injury with only 2 minutes played in the first half. The Spaniard twisted his knee after trying to hold on to the ball when Kolasinac challenged him and the first reports indicate he could now be out for several months. If the worst scenarios get confirmed, Jesé Rodríguez might lose the rest of the season as well as any chances of still getting called for Spain's squad that will compete in the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil next summer. Updates on the true extent of Jesé Rodríguez injury should start coming out tomorrow and through the next days...

Ancelotti was therefore forced to bring on a new player almost straight after the kickoff whistle and with Benzema still unavailable due to injury, the Italian manager sent in Gareth Bale. The former Tottenham winger was actually the driving force on the first goal, by showing his great vision and passing ability when he assisted Cristiano Ronaldo in the middle for an easy tap-in goal. The Merengues were not assaulting Schalke as they had done in the first leg, but at least they had reached the lead still before the first half of an hour.

Gareth Bale at full speed, in Real Madrid 2014

Those expecting another route similar to the one we've seen 3 weeks ago in Germany were probably a bit disappointed to see how the game unrolled in the minutes following Ronaldo's opener. Roughly 10 minutes after the Merengues had picked the lead, the visitors managed to score the equalizer. Schalke 04's full-back Hoogland, saw an opportunity to go forward on the pitch with the ball close to his feet and when he realized no one was really closing down on him, he tried his luck from distance. The shot wasn't in fact very strong, but ended up getting deflected on Sergio Ramos' left leg and tricked an helpless Iker Casillas. No reason for the hosts to worry much though, despite the 1-1 on the scoreline that would drag until half-time...

Real Madrid got back to the lead later in the second half, in what was basically a Cristiano Ronaldo majestic solo run. The 29-year old forward took the matter into his own hands (or should we say feet?) and finished off a counter attack in great style and speed, after having picked the ball still close to the midfield line. CR7 turned his turbo mode, raced against two Schalke defenders and struck the ball with power to make his second and put Real Madrid in front once more on the night. That was Ronaldo's 41st goal this season, his 13th in this UEFA Champions League campaign in only 7 games played he has played so far!

The count was closed with another Real Madrid goal right the minute after. Alvaro Morata finally got it right after several blatant misses and hit the back of the net from close range. However, that would only happen after seeing Ronaldo getting close to sign his hat-trick, when he hit the woodwork with a left-foot strike. The ball bounced back to Gareth Bale, who then unselfishly assisted Morata for an easy goal against an empty net. The result wouldn't suffer any further changes until the final whistle and the Merengues are through into the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals, wiping Schalke off the picture with an impressive 9-2 result on aggregate.

As for Cristiano Ronaldo, his two goals tonight allowed him not only to cement his lead on this season's Champions League top goalscorers rankings (he now has 13 and Ibrahimovic is behind him with 10), as they also leave him just one goal short of tying Barcelona's Lionel Messi record of 14 goals scored in a Champions League season (2011-12). As if that wasn't enough, Ronaldo has also tied Puskas as Real Madrid's 4th top scorer of all-time, with 242 goals. It took the Portuguese star 236 games to accomplish that though, while Puskas needed 267 games. On his sight are already Santillana (290 goals), Alfredo Di Stefano (307 goals) and Raúl (323 goals) records. Certainly only a matter of time until Ronaldo becomes Real Madrid's all-time top scorer wouldn't you agree?

Cristiano Ronaldo new dribbling trick

Real Madrid line-up vs Schalke 04:

Goalkeeper: Iker Casillas
Defenders: Fábio Coentrão, Sergio Ramos, Varane, Nacho
Midfielders: Xabi Alonso, Illarramendi, Isco
Attackers: Jesé Rodríguez, Cristiano Ronaldo, Alvaro Morata.

Match stats provided by
Real Madrid
Schalke 04
Shots on goal
Corner kicks
Fouls commited
Yellow cards
Red cards
Ball possession

Cristiano Ronaldo next game for Real Madrid will be La Liga's Clasico against Barcelona, on March 23 of 2014. You can watch Juventus live stream, Real Madrid vs Barcelona, Fiorentina vs Juventus, Manchester United vs Olympiakos live and Borussia Dortmund vs Zenit, all games provided from our soccer live section.

Real Madrid next game:
Real Madrid vs Barcelona
kick-off time (23-03-2014):

Jakarta (Indonesia) | GMT+7: 03:00
(Madrid) | GMT+1: 21:00
Portugal and England (Lisbon/London) | GMT+0: 20:00
Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) | GMT-2: 18:00
New York (United States) | GMT-5: 15:00
Los Angeles (United States) | GMT-8: 12:00
Beijing (China) | GMT+8: 04:00

Sources: / / /

Cristiano Ronaldo jumping over two defenders

Iker Casillas, Real Madrid goalkeeper in Champions League 2014

Alvaro Morata in Real Madrid Champions League campaign in 2014

Real Madrid line-up vs Schalke

Cristiano Ronaldo gestures during Real Madrid vs Schalke 04

Cristiano Ronaldo and Gareth Bale in the Champions League

Cristiano Ronaldo right-foot goal in Real Madrid 3-1 Schalke

Jesé Rodríguez knee injury, in Real Madrid vs Schalke

[ Ronaldo photos in Real Madrid vs Schalke / Back to News Index ]




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