Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo in the 26th minute and Marcelo in the 79th gave Real Madrid a comfortable 2-0 lead in its UEFA Champions League tie with Schalke.
Ronaldo headed home a cross from Dani Carvajal to open the scoring, though there was little doubt the La Liga giants were in control of the match. Roberto Di Matteo’s Schalke side didn’t get embarrassed like last season’s pairing in the Round of 16, but the Germans had few answers.
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At times, Madrid possessed like Barcelona of a few years back or early 2000s Italy, and it became rhythmic, almost sleepy. The crowd was awakened, however, when Marcelo sent an otherworldly blast into the Schalke goal in the match’s waning stages to put an exclamation point on the dominant win.
What a day for 19-year-old Schalke starting keeper Timon Wellenreuther, who had made just a handful of First Team appearances for the Veltins-Arena side in his young career. He didn’t have any hope of getting to Marcelo’s bullet.
Aside from some Kevin Prince-Boateng wayward volleys that were full of fury but signifying little, Schalke didn’t do much to take itself out of an awful spot heading into next month’s second leg at the Bernabeu.
Could Schalke have suffered a bigger loss than the match? Leading scorer Klaas-Jan Huntelaar had to be subbed off after going foot to ankle with Raphael Varane in the 33rd minute, and Schalke is locked in a struggle with several combatants for the Bundesliga’s final slot.
Schalke: Wellenreuther; Uchida, Howedes, Matip, Nastasic, Aogo; Neustadter (Kirchhoff, 56′), Hoger (Meyer, 80′), Boateng; Choupo-Moting, Huntelaar (Platte, 33′)
Real Madrid: Casillas, Ramos, Marcelo, Carvajal (Arbeloa, 82′), Isco (Illarramendi, 84′), Ronaldo, Bale Benzema (Chicharito, 75′)
Goals: Ronaldo (26′), Marcelo (79′)