Real Madrid was on the verge of disaster & faced the real risk of elimination right up till the very end. Schalke 04 put in a marvellous performance going after a slim hope that was becoming a possibility as the minutes went by. Real Madrid was always behind the Germans & played catch-up (panic) Football all match. The Spaniards made mistakes close to the goal & failed numerous passes that were - lucky for them - not all fully taken by Schalke 04 to have caused severe damage.
It was one of the worst performances of the season by Real Madrid & it has only caused more doubt & extreme worry with fans, technical team & Directives if their faces tonight were any indication. The team received a severe reprimand from the home fans with whistles that were aimed at most of the Real Madrid players, Gareth Bale being a main target, along with Coach Ancelotti. The later surprised everyone before the match giving a start to Coentrao, Arbeloa & Khedira, all three later substituted.
The only player sparred tonight was Cristiano Ronaldo who individually saved his team by scoring two vital goals in two critical phases of the match. The Portuguese is not at his best form but he was the only player to "clinch his teeth" & push through Real Madrid into the Q/Final stage of the competition.
There was some good news for Real Madrid, the return of Luka Modric after 144 days sidelined with injury. His appearance mid second half calmed his side, allowed the ball to flow better & showed all the qualities of the top class player he is & that Real Madrid has been desperately missing. Benzema scored the other goal but one cannot say he was at his best either, thank god for his goal.
Schalke 04 leave unlucky & should depart proudly as they defeated squarely Real Madrid tonight. Great game from former Real Madrid player Huntelaar (2 x goals) & impressive performance from youngster Sané, great goal included, who showed promise & real class.
The goals came in the following order:
- Fuchs 21st min , 0 - 1
- Cristiano Ronaldo 25th min, 1 - 1
- Huntelaar 40th min, 1 - 2
- Cristiano Ronaldo 45th min, 2 -2
- Benzema 52nd min, 2 - 3
- Sané 56th min, 3 - 3
- Huntelaar 84th min, 3 - 4