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CHAMPIONS LEAGUE Ro16 - 2nd LEG: Ronaldo at it again as Real Madrid toy with Schalke

Real Madrid have breezed into the final eight of the 2013/14 UEFA Champions League courtesy of a 3-1 Round of 16 second leg win over Schalke.

The Spanish giants dismantled the Germans in Gelsenkirchen last month when Cristiano Ronaldo, Gareth Bale and Karim Benzema all netted braces in their 6-1 victory which made Schalke's trip to the Santiago Bernabeu basically null and void.

Jens Keller's Royal Blues would have loved to have seen the back of Ronaldo after the initial bout but had to deal with the Portuguese wizard again as he ran riot on his favourite piece of turf to guide los Blancos to a stunning 9-2 aggregate triumph.

Ronaldo gave Madrid the lead in the 21st minute when Gareth Bale, who had earlier replaced injured youngster Jese, provided a simple ball from the right for him to finish from close range.

Schalke were able to pull one back ten minutes later through defender Tim Hoogland whose long range attempt deflected off Sergio Ramos and in past Iker Casillas.

That made it 7-2 on aggregate at half-time which would not have bothered Carlo Ancelotti knowing that he had a supreme attacking force on the park for the second lot of 45 minutes.

A five-goal advantage soon became six when Ronaldo scored his 13th goal of the European campaign when he picked up the ball in midfield before producing a 74th-minute finish from just inside the area which gave Schalke keeper Ralf Fahrmann absolutely no chance.

Real weren't done there and less than two minutes later they struck for a third time on the night when Alvaro Morata's initial effort had been saved by Fahrmann only for it to fall to Ronaldo. The former Manchester United ace was unable to complete his hat-trick, firing off the upright, but Bale was well-placed to knock the rebound back into the path of Morata who slotted home efficiently.

The win sees Madrid into the quarter-finals where they will now await their next opponent which will be learnt at the draw on Friday.

Ancelotti's men have joined La Liga rivals Barcelona and Atletico Madrid, reigning European champions Bayern Munich, French giants Paris Saint-Germain and 2012 champions Chelsea in the elite eight ahead of Manchester United's clash with Olympiakos and Borussia Dortmund's home meeting with Zenit Saint Petersburg tomorrow night.

2013/14 UEFA Champions League - Round of 16 second leg

Real Madrid (SPN): 3 (Cristiano Ronaldo 21'/74', Alvaro Morata 75') Schalke 04 (GER): 1 (Tim Hoogland 31') Santiago Bernabeu, Madrid, Spain - 65,148 *Real Madrid wins 9-2 on aggregate

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Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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