Schalke 0 Real Madrid 2 (Half-time 0-1)

The superlatives just don't do Ronaldo and Real Madrid justice any more, as both the player and his club side continued their apparent love affair with the Champions League last night in Germany. A more than healthy 2-0 away victory looks to have already ensured that the holders will make it safely through to the quarter-finals, with the second leg at the Bernabeu looking like a mere formality. It was Madrid's tenth straight win in the competition and Ronaldo was among the goals yet again, scoring his 58th Champions League goal in just 58 games.

As droughts go, three games without a goal does not seem too great a calamity, yet to Ronaldo it becomes a challenge to his ability and sets the reporters' tongues wagging. He silenced the doubters by ending that barren run against Schalke in Gelsenkirchen just 26 minutes into their last-16 tie, heading in Dani Carvajal's inviting cross, to send the Spanish giants on their way.

Ronaldo is equally adept at creating goals for his teammates and provided that side of his repertoire for the second goal 11 minutes from normal time. Marcelo's powerful strike into the top corner, after the Portuguese star's lay-off, ensured that there would be no comeback for the Germans on the night. They had been unlucky not to equalise moments before the second Madrid goal arrived though, when substitute Felix Platte saw his strike hit the bar.

The visitors could have scored more goals against Schalke, especially in the first-half when Karim Benzema wasted a great chance to add to Ronaldo's opener, but his shot was saved by the keeper Timon Wellenreuther. Ronaldo also almost added another from his speciality free-kick armoury.

Madrid have happy memories of playing the German side, having thumped them 9-2 on aggregate at the same stage of the competition last season on the way to their record tenth European Cup / Champions League trophy.

They seem unlikely to match that humbling score again this time, but should be able to close the tie off comfortably in the home leg, saving their energies for the ongoing battle at the top of La Liga with Barcelona and for the later rounds of this competition. They will also soon welcome James Rodriguez back after injury, as their squad of galacticos comes back up to full strength once again.