Soccer

Benzema, Bale, Ronaldo brace as Real Madrid pound Schalke

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The Canadian Press
2/26/2014 6:35:30 PM
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GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany - With an overwhelming offensive display, Real Madrid became the first road team to score six goals in a knockout-stage game of the Champions League and put itself in position for its fourth straight trip to the quarterfinals.

Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema scored two goals each Wednesday night in a 6-1 rout of Schalke in the first leg of their second-round matchup.

"We played a very, very good match," Madrid coach Carlo Ancelotti said. "We got well into the match, scored two early goals and that opened the game and left us able to counter and to use the speed of our players."

In the night's other game, Aurelien Chedjou's goal off Wesley Sneijder's corner kick in the 64th minute gave Galatasaray a 1-1 tie against visiting Chelsea, which had gone ahead when Fernando Torres scored in the ninth minute.

Ronaldo's two goals gave him 11 in the Champions League this season and 34 in 34 games in all competitions. With 61 Champions League goals in his career, Ronaldo moved one ahead of Ruud Van Nistelrooy for third place, trailing only Raul Gonzalez (71) and Lionel Messi (66).

Real extended its unbeaten streak to 27 games, seven shy of the club record set in 1988-89. Second legs of the total-goals series are March 18. Los Blancos, who had 58 per cent possession and outshot the hosts 21-10, are seeking their record 10th title in Europe's top club competition following semifinal elimination in each of the last three seasons.

Madrid had won only once in its previous 25 matches in Germany, 3-2 at Bayer Leverkusen in 2000.

"Real and Bayern are the two best teams in the world," Schalke coach Jens Keller said, referring to the runaway Bundesliga leader and defending Champions League titlist.

Benzema scored in the 13th and 57th minutes, while Bale had goals in the 21st and 69th minutes. Ronaldo scored in the 52nd and 89th.

With Real ahead 1-0, goalkeeper Iker Casillas made a stunning reflex save on Julian Draxler's shot from three yards following a deflected cross from Jefferson Farfan.

"It was an incredible save, maybe the crucial moment of the match," Ancelotti said.

Schalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar had the most spectacular goal on a volley in the fourth minute of stoppage time.

"The difference in class was clear," Draxler said. "We can forget about the second leg and concentrate on the Bundesliga."

In Istanbul, Torres scored following Cezar Azpilicueta's cutback pass.

"I wouldn't want to say that's a great result. We all now know what a strong team they are," Chelsea midfielder Frank Lampard said. "Little bit disappointed today really at halftime it wasn't more than one nil up. I think we played very well first half, we controlled it. They didn't have any chances and we have about four or five very good counterattacks, and we didn't make more of them."

Didier Drogba, whose penalty kick won the 2012 title for Chelsea, was playing against his former team. Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho is trying to win a Champions League title with a third team following victories with Porto in 2004 and Inter Milan in 2010.

"They have very powerful strikers and we are going to have a difficult time at Stamford Bridge — that's for sure," Mourinho said.

Gareth Bale (Photo: The Canadian Press)

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(Photo: The Canadian Press)
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