Real Madrid had a shocking game against Schalke but were somehow fortunate enough to make it through to the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League.

Starting Lineup:

Carlo Ancelotti made a few rotations to the team as he tried to hold on to a 2-goal advantage after the first-leg but the plan almost backfired. The starting lineup consisted of:

Iker Casillas [C], Alvaro Arbeloa, Pepe, Raphael Varane, Fabio Coentrao, Toni Kroos, Sami Khedira, Gareth Bale, Isco, Cristiano Ronaldo, Karim Benzema

Scorers:

Real Madrid –
Cristiano Ronaldo (25′)
Cristiano Ronaldo (45′)
Karim  Benzema (52′)

Schalke –
Christian Fuchs (20′)
Klaas Jan Huntelaar (40′)
Leroy Sane (57′)
Klaas  Jan  Huntelaar (84′)

Iker Casillas:

There are many players to put the blame on after a shockingly bad performance but there is a reason why I’m deciding to pick Iker Casillas. He had a terrible game overall but was able to make up for his mistakes by being the savior for Real Madrid later on in the match. You have to keep in mind that, if Schalke were just a little more clinical with their finishing, then the game could have easily ended with 6 or 7 goals to their name. One particular great moment for Casillas was after the game where he forced players like Cristiano Ronaldo to stay on the pitch and listen to the whistles of the fans. True captain right there. With that said, something really needs to change.

Alvaro Arbeloa:

Alvaro Arbeloa still gets called up once in a while to the starting lineup and, to be honest, it’s quite shocking! Not only was he called up to the squad but Daniel Carvajal was completely discarded! This was the UEFA Champions League and, even though we won the first leg 2-0, nothing is guaranteed in football and it wasn’t a smart idea whatsoever for Carlo Ancelotti to leave Carvajal out of the squad. Again, Arbeloa wasn’t the only player who didn’t do well, but he was one of the weakest on the night.

Cristiano Ronaldo:

Cristiano Ronaldo didn’t have his best game against Schalke but there is no denying that he was definitely our savior on the night. Two goals by the Portuguese gave us massive hope to stay in the competition. If it wasn’t for him on the night, we wouldn’t have made it to the quarter-finals. It’s great to see that he is finally getting back on his feet and hopefully he will be able to continue improving from here onwards.

CR7

Gareth Bale:

Many people have criticized Gareth Bale after his performance and I can somewhat agree but at least he was one of the rare people trying! He made his runs and always tried to help the team in whatever way possible. He wasn’t great but no one else was either! Also, with all the pressure on the Welshman to perform this season, it’s not a surprise to see him play the way he has been. The fans need to stand behind him and support him.Unfortunately, that has never been us and we will continue criticizing no matter what I guess.

Luka Modric:

Finally, Luka Modric has come back! He came onto the pitch after 60 minutes and automatically showed everyone why he was missed so much! His quick touches and his eye for the perfect pass was a sigh of relief as it seemed like Real Madrid were not able to get two passes together on the night. He is slowly coming back as he is now expected to play approximately 60 minutes in the weekend against Levante and then (hopefully) he will be able to play the full 90 minutes against Barcelona!

My Personal Player Ratings:

Iker Casillas – 5.5/10
Alvaro Arbeloa – 5/10
Pepe – 7/10
Raphael Varane – 6/10
Fabio Coentrao – 6/10
Toni Kroos – 7.5/10
Sami Khedira – 6/10
Gareth Bale – 7.5/10
Isco – 8/10
Cristiano Ronaldo – 8.5/10
Karim Benzema – 7.5/10

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