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Champions League, round of 16, first leg

Schalke 1 - Real Madrid 6

Watch out Europe, Real Madrid are on the prowl! Ancelotti’s side completed a clean sweep for La Liga teams in the first knock-out round after a humiliating 1-6 victory over Schalke ’04! There were two goals each for the B-B-C front trio, Benzema starting things off after a back-heel pass by Ronaldo fell kindly to him off a defender. Casillas had to make a fantastic reaction save from Draxler just a minute later, but soon afterwards Benzema won the ball down the right wing and passed in for Bale to cut past three defenders and fire a low shot inside the near post. Ronaldo hit the upright and had a couple more efforts saved by Fährmann before the break, but soon after the restart he picked up Bale’s pass and dummied past Matip before firing an angled shot past the keeper. Five minutes later Benzema made it four after a quick passing move with Ronaldo, and Bale ran on to a Sergio Ramos through ball to steer home a fifth with twenty minutes to go. Ancelotti started to rest players for this weekend’s big derby game, but Ronaldo completed the set near the end, rounding the keeper after good work by Isco and Benzema. Huntelaar did give the home fans something to cheer about with a spectacular volley in injury time, the first goal that Casillas has let in for ten games, but Madrid had sent a clear message to the rest, and the bookies odds on them winning that elusive “decima” are shortening by the minute. (26.02.14)