Real Madrid played a terrible game and were close to being knocked out of the Champions League as they lost 3-4 against Schalke.
The German side were one goal close from completing a historic comeback and qualifying for the quarter-finals, but goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Karim Benzema saved Los Blancos from a great disaster and Carlo Ancelotti moved into the next round.
The visitors threatened Iker Casillas from the start, and the Spanish goalkeeper didn’t have a good night. He reacted poorly after Christian Fuchs sent a powerful short-range effort allowing Schalke to take the lead after 20 minutes.
Los Blancos were unable to take control but at least Ronaldo was inspired and he levelled the game with a superb header to the top corner after meeting a corner from Toni Kroos.
The hosts were disastrous in defence and that allowed Schalke to earn confidence in attack. Former Los Merengues striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar hit the crossbar with a brilliant shot from the edge of the box. And he wouldn’t miss in the following play.
Casillas fumbled an effort from Max Meyer and the Dutchman picked up the rebound to send it to the back of the net.
Schalke were only one goal away from qualifying at that moment, but Ronaldo appeared again to bring Madrid back to life with another terrific header. Fabio Coentrao sent a precise cross from the left and Ronaldo rose over the defenders to make it 2-2 before the break.
Los Blancos game didn’t improve in the second half, but at least they were able to play more calmly as Karim Benzema gave the hosts the lead. The Frenchman dribbled past two defenders and the keeper and fired one into the bottom corner.
However, Madrid’s problems were not over. Casillas failed again as Leroy Sane sent an effort from 25 metres that ended in the back of the net.
Luka Modric made his return after a four-month injury and Los Blancos game improved, but he was unlucky in a key play. As he tried to steal the ball from Sane, the Croatian assisted Huntelaar, who raced past Madrid’s defence and lashed a powerful strike to the top corner.
Schalke were one goal away from the quarter-finals again with just five minutes to go. Sane had the best chance to complete the German’s heroic deed, but this time Casillas made a brilliant save as the youngster shot from 30 metres.