Cristiano Ronaldo, 30, ended his personal three-game goal drought, to help Real Madrid take control of their last-16 tie against Schalke, at the Veltins-Arena in Gelsenkirchen. The Portuguese forward was short of form going into the match, however he silenced critics in the 26th minute, when he headed in a cross from Dani Carvajal, 23, to put Real ahead. Ronaldo's goal was his 58th in 58 Champions league appearances.

Madrid should have doubled the lead, in the 31st minute, when French international Karim Benzema shot low on target, but 19-year-old Schalke's goalkeeper Timon Wellenreuther made a good kick save.

Schalke's Felix Platte, 19, crashed a 20-yard effort against the bar in the 74th minute, the closest the Germans came to getting an equaliser. Nevertheless, moments later, in the 79th minute, Ronaldo turned provider for Brazilian full-back Marcelo, 26, who gathered a ball from the left flank to cut in and fire a fabulous right-footed shot in the top right-hand corner.

In 2014, Real Madrid ended their 12-year wait to capture "La Decima" - a 10th European Cup victory - and they thrashed Schalke 9-2 on aggregate in the same stage of last year's competition. While this result was not as convincing as last season's big margin of victory, the match demonstrated a dominant performance from Carlo Ancelotti's men, who are surely big favourites to retain the trophy.

With Ronaldo, the 2014 Ballon D'Or winner, and the 2014 World Cup Golden Boot winner James Rodriguez, 23, yet to return from injury, Los Blancos remain unbeatable firepower in attack.

Di Matteo's side, who finished third in the Bundesliga last season, will rue ex-Madrid striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar injury just before the interval.

He was replaced by 19-year-old Platte, who only made his Bundesliga debut at the weekend. The Germans managed to stick to their task defensively in the second period and will rue Platte' miss.

Real Madrid, who top Spain's La Liga by one point, have now won their last 10 Champions League matches consecutively. They will take a comfortable lead back to the Bernabéu on the 10th of March, while Schalke will need to replicate the feats of Barcelona and Juventus and overturn a two-goal deficit.