Champions League - Ronaldo at the double as Real thump Schalke

Champions League last 16, second leg, Bernabeu - Real Madrid 3 (Ronaldo 21, 74, Morata 75) Schalke 1 (Hoogland 31); Real Madrid win 9-2 on aggregate

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Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (R) celebrates with teammate Gareth Bale after scoring a goal against Schalke 04 during their Champions League last 16 second leg soccer match at Santiago Bernabeu stadium in Madrid March 18, 2014. REUTERS

Cristiano Ronaldo struck a brace as Real Madrid warmed up for Sunday's clasico by comfortably confirming their place in the last eight of the Champions League with a 3-1 home triumph over Schalke.

Los Blancos came into the contest boasting an emphatic 6-1 lead from the first leg and they took little time in adding to their tally when Ronaldo opened the scoring on 21 minutes.

The Portugal star finished off a slick move down the right involving substitute Gareth Bale and Alvaro Morata by firing in from close range.

The hosts looked all set to open the flood gates, but after Morata twice fluffed clear-cut chances, the German outfit pushed forward and grabbed a shock equaliser.

Tim Hoogland took advantage of some poor closing down to let fly with a speculative shot that took a wicked deflection off Sergio Ramos on its way into the corner of the net.

Real rarely got out of first gear but remained the greater threat with Ronaldo, Isco and Morata all going close before they finally sealed victory with two goals in a minute.

First, Ronaldo made it 13 in the competition so far this term with a tradermark run and shot that flew in at the near post, before Morata tucked home at the second attempt after the Portuguese star had thumped the bar.

Ronaldo almost equalled Lionel Messi's record of 14 Champions League goals in a single season five minutes from time but saw another thumping shot crash back off the post.

The 9-2 win on aggregate was a club record for the Spanish giants, but their night was somewhat soured by the news that Spain U21 star, Jese looks set for a spell on the sidelines after being carried off on a stretcher with suspected cruciate ligament damage in the opening stages of the game.

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KEY MOMENTS

PRE-MATCH: Ronaldo STARTS, Bale on the bench - Ancelotti makes seven changes but is still able to name strong starting xi, with 11-goal Cristiano Ronaldo and Xabi Alonso involved from the off. Gareth Bale is forced to settle for a place on the bench as Real look to see out the tie without over-exerting themselves ahead of Sunday's El Clasico. Former Madrid striker, Klaas-Jan Huntelaar leads the line for the visitors as they look to restore some pride following the embarrassing demolition they suffered on home turf.

4' - INJURY - Real starlet Jese falls awkwardly on the far right and is carried off on a stretcher with what looks like a serious injury. It means Gareth Bale is called into action earlier than expected as his replacement.

21' - GOAL: Real Madrid 1-0 Schalke. A lovely move sees Morata feed Bale on the right of the area. The Welsh winger sizzles a low ball into the six-yard box for Ronaldo who makes no mistake from close range.

28' BIG MISS! More explosive play by Bale sees him rampage clear down that right once again and put it on a plate for Morata who somehow scuffs wide with the goal gaping.

31' GOAL! Real Madrid 1-1 Schalke. Where did that come from? Hoogland is given time to size up a 25-yard shot and lets fly with an effort that takes a huge deflection off Ramos, giving Casillas no chance.

52 SAVE! Ramos meets Isco's left-wing delivery with a clever knock back across goal for Ronaldo who thinks he's scored with a thumping downward header. But Fahrman has other ideas, producing another stunning stop to keep the forward at bay.

74' GOAL! Real Madrid 2-1 Schalke. Ronaldo gets his second of the contest, as he races at two defenders before drilling a low shot in at the near post. Simply sublimeReal lead 8-2 on agg.

75' GOAL! Real Madrid 3-1 Schalke. A lapse at the back allows Real to make it two in a minute. Morata sees his first shot saved and Ronaldo's follow up hits the bar, but Bale is on hand to tee up Morata again to tap home.

83' OFF THE POST! Ronaldo breaks free and looks all set to complete the hat-trick, but his low shot cannons back off the post! Unlucky.

MATCHCAST: FULL COMMENTARY AND PLAYER RATINGS

KEY STATS

Real Madrid have scored in each of their last 33 Champions League games, the longest run in the history of the competition. The last time they failed to find the net was against Barcelona on 27 April 2011 (0-2).

Los Blancos are the top scorers this season (29 goals).

Real Madrid have won 14 of their last 16 Champions League games at the Santiago Bernabeu, drawing the other two. Barcelona are the last team to defeat the Merengues in Madrid (27 April 2011).

Real Madrid are one of only two teams still unbeaten in the Champions League this season, alongside Atletico Madrid.

The 9-2 win on aggregate was a club record for the Spanish giants.

(Stats courtesy of Opta Joe and UEFA)

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TALKING POINT: Is this the year of La Decima? Real Madrid have spent the past decade pursuing what would be a landmark 10th European Cup success. Over recent seasons they have come up short in the last four, but this year they seem to be a side with a greater resolve, perhaps emphasised by the fact they are currently 31 matches unbeaten. With Ronaldo, Bale and Benzema leading the line, anything is possible and there is a growing belief in the Spanish capital that this is going to be the year.

MAN OF THE MATCH

Ronaldo (Real Madrid): At times the former Manchester United attacker is simply unstoppable and he could have had four tonight without breaking sweat.

PLAYER RATINGS

Real Madrid: Casillas 6, Varane 6, Ramos 7, Coentrão 6, Ronaldo 8, Xabi Alonso 7, Nacho 7, Jese 5, Morata 6, Isco 7, Illarra 6. subs: Casemiro 6, Bale 7, Carvajal 6.

Schalke: Faehrmann 7, Hoogland 7, Hoewedes 6, Matip 6, Kolasinac 6, Ayhan 6, Neustaedter 6, Obasi 6, Meyer 6, Draxler 7, Huntelaar 6. Subs: Szalai 6, Papadopoulos 6, Annan 5.

THE MATCH IN A TWEET

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