One thing is clear after the first leg of the round of 16 games in the Champions League is that there are four teams that are head and shoulders above everyone else. Last week we saw the strength of PSG, Bayern and Barcelona and last night Real Madrid made sure their name was added to the list of Champions League contenders as they took part Schalke 6-1 in Germany.
Schalke have been playing well but they were quickly exposed by Real’s quality as first-half goals from Benzema and Bale set the tone for a one-sided affair. Ronaldo took his Champions League total to 11 during a second period in which Benzema and Bale also added their second goals. Former Madrid forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar volleyed a spectacular consolation in added time, but it was largely irrelevant as Carlo Ancelotti’s men romped to only their second win on German soil and also became the first away side to score six teams in the Champions League knockout stage.
When they are on form, as they were last night, Real’s BBC connection is as good an attacking trio as anyone has in football. It this the year that Madrid win their 10th Champions League trophy? It will take a very very good side to beat them.
In the night’s other game a Premier side finally scored in the knockout stages as Chelsea got an important away goal in a 1-1 draw against Galatasaray in Istanbul.
Jose Mourinho’s side will be kicking themselves that they have to finished off this ti. Fernando Torres’s have the Premier League side an early lead but Chelsea spurned chance after chance in the first half to put the tie beyond Gala’s reach. But they didn’t and now face a tricky second leg at home after Chedjou second half goal from a corner left the tie wide open.