Madrid - After reaching the knockout stages of the UEFA Champions League for the first time in successive seasons, FC Schalke 04 crashed out after suffering a 3-1 defeat in their last-16 second leg against Real Madrid CF on Tuesday night.

The dominant hosts took a deserved lead through the competition's top goalscorer Cristiano Ronaldo and, though Tim Hoogland levelled the scores with a slice of luck, there was little the Royal Blues could do as Ronaldo bagged his brace before Alvaro Morata rounded out the scoring to hand the visitors a 9-2 aggregate defeat.


With the Spaniards naming a young side lacking a number of stars, Schalke made the more promising start and threatened to take advantage of their hosts’ vulnerability following Jese’s early exit, with Klaas-Jan Huntelaar drawing a routine save out of Iker Casillas. However, with Gareth Bale introduced off the bench, Real soon began establishing a control on proceedings and duly took the lead when the Welshman found space on the right to square for Ronaldo to tap home from eight yards out.

The home team should have doubled their lead soon after, but with Bale once again the provider, Morata could only scuff wide with an almost identical opportunity to the one that produced the opener. Schalke punished that profligacy just past the half-hour mark when Hoogland’s deflected effort from long-range left Casillas powerless to prevent parity being restored. The Royal Blues then could have taken the lead only for Huntelaar to drag a golden opportunity wide of the target, ensuring the sides went in level at the break.

Quickfire double

With the Dutchman replaced by Adam Szalai at half-time, Schalke struggled to maintain their momentum coming into the second half. As a result Real’s Galacticos began turning on the style, toying with the Royal Blues’ backline, as Ralf Fährmann was forced to deny both Ronaldo and Isco restoring Madrid’s lead. The visitors, though industrious, struggled to assert themselves in the final third and were forced to drop deeper due to Real's pressure, which soon took its toll.

Kaan Ayhan, making his Champions League debut, looked to have dispossessed Bale, but Ronaldo was on hand to pick up the loose ball, powering his way past Joel Matip before unleashing a fierce drive which found the bottom corner. Schalke’s disappointment was further compounded less than minute later when Ronaldo’s shot off the bar fell kindly for Bale to pick out Morata, who made no mistake from close range. The visitors' focus promptly switched to damage limitation, but with Ronaldo hitting the post in the closing stages, Schalke can count themselves lucky not to lose by a greater margin.


Real Madrid: Casillas - Nacho, Varane, Sergio Ramos (Carvajal 69'), Coentrao - Illaramendi, Xabi Alonso (Casemiro 46'), Isco - Cristiano Ronaldo, Jesé (Bale 8'), Morata

Schalke: Fährmann - Hoogland, Höwedes (Papadopoulos 57'), Matip, Kolasinac - Ayhan (Annan 81'), Neustädter - Obasi, Meyer, Draxler - Huntelaar (Szalai 46')

Goals: 1-0 Ronaldo (21'), 1-1 Hoogland (31'), 2-1 Ronaldo (74'), Morata (75')

James Thorogood