Cristiano Ronaldo, Marcelo help Real Madrid to victory over Schalke
Real Madrid are on course to make the Champions League quarterfinals after a 2-0 victory at Schalke in the first leg of their last-16 tie.
Schalke went into the game as huge underdogs, having lost 6-1 at home and 3-1 away when they met Madrid at the same stage in last year’s competition, but they had looked the more likely to make the breakthrough at the start of the match.
However, the home side found themselves trailing on 26 minutes when Cristiano Ronaldo was allowed the space to head home for his 58th goal in 58 Champions League appearances, the Portuguese ending a goal drought that had approached five hours.
Schalke’s prospects then receded further when former Madrid forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar had to be substituted before the break with a leg injury.
However, Huntelaar’s replacement, Felix Platte, came close to an equaliser on his Champions League debut as he smashed a shot against the crossbar on 74 minutes, with Atsuto Uchida unable to beat Iker Casillas from the follow-up.
Soon afterwards, Madrid had extended their advantage, with Marcelo unleashing a stunning right-footed strike into the top corner.