Highlights: Schalke 0-2 Real Madrid; Cristiano Ronaldo ends goal drought
Real Madrid travelled to Germany to face Schalke in the first leg of the Round of 16 in the UEFA Champions League. The headlines were firmly on Cristiano Ronaldo, who had failed to find the net in the last month. Lucas Silva made his first start for Madrid. Schalke faced the same opponents last season as well and were routed 1-6 at home by the eventual Champions League winners.
The match started tentatively with both teams negating each other out. The first real attempt of the match came in the 25th minute when Klaas-Jan Huntelaar found space to shoot with his left foot. But, the Dutchman’s shot was easily collected by Iker Casillas.
A minute later, Ronaldo opened the scoring with a looping header from a Dani Carvajal cross. The goalkeeper, Timon Wellenreuther, misjudged the cross and came off his line, and was made to pay by Ronaldo, who had ghosted behind the Schalke defence to head the ball in. The goal ended Ronaldo’s longest streak without a goal this season – 299 minutes.
Huntelaar went off injured and 19-year-old Felix Platte replaced him to lead the line for the Germans. The rest of the half petered out to a close as neither team threatened the opposition’s goal.
The second half started in the same manner as the first started and ended. The shot from the teenaged striker from Schalke in the 74th minute which crashed against the crossbar was the highlight for the German team. Brazilian defender Marcelo, however, had the last laugh as he hit a beautiful shot from the edge of the box with his wrong foot into the top corner to seal the match and send the Spanish team back home with a massive advantage of two away goals.
With this win - their 10th in a row, Real Madrid have equalled the longest winning run by any team in the Champions League alongside Bayern Munich, who established the record in December 2013.
Schalke 0-1 Real Madrid: Cristiano Ronaldo (26’)
Ronaldo took advantage of the Schalke goalkeeper’s poor judgement as he sent in a looping header into the empty goal from Carvajal’s cross.
Schalke 0-2 Real Madrid: Marcelo (79’)
The moment of the match came from an unlikely source as Marcelo ghosted near the opposition box and was found by Ronaldo. The Brazilian took a couple of touches and let go a pile-driver of a shot that the goalkeeper could not do anything about this time.