Real Madrid Vs Schalke 04, UEFA Champions League 2013-2014: A Convincing But Bittersweet Victory

Denis Doyle

The merengues beat Schalke 04 by 3-1 to confirm their great performance in the first leg of this round and move on to the quarterfinals. Jesé's injury in the third minute was the only bad news tonight.

Given the tremendous 1-6 victory obtained in Gelsenkirchen, today's game against Schalke 04 was nothing but a formality. Carletto decided to rest some of the most frequent players in his roster to form a competitive lineup and bring the joy to the Bernabéu.

It was still too early when the bad news arrived. In Real Madrid's first approach to Schalke's box, Jesé was fouled by Kolasinac. A bad twist in his right knee, followed by the bad luck of receiving all of Kolasinac's weight over it after falling to the ground, caused the injury in the Canarian, who felt it was impossible for him to keep playing and asked for the substitution.

Bale's entrance did not change the scheme. Real Madrid wanted to keep the control of the ball and to maintain a slow rhythm in the game in order to avoid risks, and Schalke's lack of pressure was a great contribution to this. After a few attempts, the goal arrived in the 20th minute in a wonderful combination between Morata, Bale and Cristiano, who finalized to obtain his 12th goal in the competition.

The goal made our players relax a bit too much, and this resulted in the best minutes of Schalke's offensive men. Draxler and Huntelaar had a few chances to shoot comfortably, and the equalizer soon arrived, from a shot by Hoogland outside the box that Casillas couldn't block after it hit Ramos.

In the break, Alonso was substituted by Casemiro and the second half started with Madrid's best minutes in the game. Isco was unleashed, doing essentialy whatever he wanted all over the field and creating advantages his partners weren't able to convert into goals. Bale and Illarra were also showing a great display, while Morata was the counterpart, since his lack of precision and his nerves were disabling him to help his fellows. However, he was finally able to score in the 75th minute, after a great pass by Bale. Two minutes later, Cristiano closed the scoreboard with an extraordinary individual play.

This 3-1 victory makes Real Madrid move on to the Champions League quarterfinals before having to face Barcelona in a crucial match for the achievement of the league next Sunday. Before that, on Friday, we will get to know who our rival in these quarterfinals will be.

Any preference?

#AnimoJese

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