Real Madrid scored 6 mammoth goals tonight (each took decent amount of technique) and probably could have scored 4 to 5 goals more if they had wanted to but the finest goal of the night was the last one which was scored by Huntelaar (former Real Madrid and AC Milan player) which gave Schalke their first goal for the night after conceding six in a row.
BBC (Bale, Benzema, Cristiano) were at it again. Each one bagged two to their name. Ronaldo would be relieved that his purple match has not vanished since he was banned for 3 matches. Bale would also take pride in the fact that he did not get injured and managed to score a goal which somewhat, again, justified his price tag. Benzema has been having the best Real Madrid season of his career. Suddenly looks really sharp and ready. His effort levels do go up and down rather substantially in an given 90 minutes but that does not stop him from making an effort nevertheless. I still believe that if he can cut some weight off his belly then he can add an extra yard or so of pace which is so vital in the modern game.
Bale is the prime example of all muscle no fat. I think he is the most conditioned player on the planet at the moment as far as body fat percentage is concerned along with a slender build. That allows him to run really fast, change direction really fast. Jump high and be flexible all at the same time. Ronaldo sometimes feels to have too much of a build for a striker with his pace. The skinny Ronaldo of Manchester United days probably had the better physique for changing direction and step overs. Now Ronaldo is raw power and pace. There seems to be a conscious effort on part of Ronaldo for this massive change where he no longer does six or seven step overs or scissors 10 or 12 times in match, he alluded to this change in his game a year ago when asked about how long he wants to play. Apparently, he has cut down on those tricks as a precaution against injury.
Real Madrid’s defense was almost perfect. Still look a bit vulnerable on crosses and corners. Were it not for Casillas’s literally unbelievable save in the first half (when the score was just 0-1) , I think Schalke would have managed to conjure up enough confidence to have kept the game alive. Now the tie is over and Real Madrid can think about playing all the fringe players in the squad for the return leg at Bernabeu.
Next up is Atletico Madrid this weekend. Real Madrid lost to Atletico Madrid at Bernabeu at the start of the season. That means, it is a must win game for Real Madrid as head to head counts a lot come the end of the season because the top 3 sides in La Liga are very close in terms of points and in terms of goal difference.