By DAN ITEL
All that talk of Real Madrid struggling in Germany can be put to rest after Wednesday’s performance.
Real Madrid continued their stunning form with a wild 6-1 victory over FC Schalke 04 in a UEFA Champions League Round of 16 matchup, highlighted by a brace apiece from Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema and Christiano Ronaldo.
It was all Real from the outset at the Veltins-Arena in Germany, extending the Spanish giant’s unbeaten streak to 27-straight matches and giving them a nearly insurmountable advantage heading into the second leg on their home ground.
Benzema started off the Madrid goal-fest with a 13th minute strike. That led to the night’s first dazzling goal, on an 18-yard fizzer from Bale in the 21st minute after a confident run.
Ronaldo got into the action with another golazo, undressing Schalke defender Joel Matip with a series of step-overs before smashing home in the 52nd minute. Benzema secured his brace with a 57th-minute goal after being played through on a beautifully timed flick by Ronaldo.
Bale got his second in the 69th minute on an assist from Sergio Ramos, and Ronaldo culminated the Real show with a 89th-minute finish.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar got one back for Schalke on a fist-time volley in the 90th minute off a Christian Fuchs cross, perhaps the classiest goal of the night.
The second leg is set for March 18 at the Santiago Bernabéu in Madrid.
GALATASARAY AND CHELSEA PLAY TO 1-1 DRAW
Nothing was decided in the Round of 16 showdown between Galatasaray and Chelsea as a goal apiece from Fernando Torres and Aurelien Chedjou led to a 1-1 draw Wednesday at Turk Telekom Arena in Istanbul.
The visitors appeared to be sitting pretty after a blistering run by Cesar Azpilicueta through a leaky Galatasaray defense. He played to Torres, who easily slotted home for the ninth-minute goal.
That stood up, with the Premier League leaders dominating action through the first half. But Galatasaray saved themselves a second-leg deficit when a Wesley Sneijder corner found Chedjou on the back post for the equalizer in the 65th minute.
Neither team could find the winner in the remaining action, leaving the second leg March 18 at Stamford Bridge.
What did you think of those results? Impressed with Real Madrid’s output? Think that Chelsea can pull off the win at home?
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