Ronaldo and Bale on fire as Madrid go on rampage to hit Schalke for six
Schalke 1 Real Madrid 6
Real Madrid virtually secured their place in the quarter-finals of the Champions League on with a stunning demolition of Schalke.
The nine-time winners had only won once before in 25 trips to Germany but victory was never in doubt at the Veltins-Arena with Real's most potent attacking weapons coming to the fore.
Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo all scored twice as an insatiable Madrid left Schalke requiring a miracle at the Bernabeu in three weeks time despite Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scoring the goal of the night in time added-on.
Schalke won a corner in the first minute and nearly took the lead but captain Benedikt Howedes' header from distance drifted wide of Iker Casillas' right-hand post.
But Real were seeing more of the ball and soon had the lead thanks to that potent attacking trio in the 13th minute.
Bale cut in on the right and found Ronaldo whose backheel took a deflection which found Benzema on the penalty spot and he made no mistake with a crisp finish.
Schalke were playing their part but it was 2-0 in the 21st minute thanks to the quick feet of Bale.
Benzema robbed Felipe Santana of possession and when the Welshman gathered the ball up he danced forward, beating two men before unleashing a quick shot which went in off the near post.
Schalke were under fire as the break approached as first Benzema fired wide from Marcelo's cross and Fahrmann made another close-range save from Ronaldo but they made it to the interval without sustaining further damage.
But it was 3-0 in the 52nd as Ronaldo got the goal he had been so close to before the break. Bale played the ball across to the Portuguese on the left and he dazzled Joel Matip with two step-overs before firing low past a helpless Fahrmann.
Five minutes later it was four as Ronaldo and Benzema exchanged passes, with the former Manchester United man releasing his team-mate in the box to fire into the far corner. Bale had his second of the night in the 67th minute. Sergio Ramos gathered a loose ball in midfield and freed Bale on the right with the former Tottenham man doing well to keep onside and calmly lift the ball over Fahrmann.
Ronaldo was not to be outdone and had his brace in the 88th minute as substitute Isco and Benzema combined to release him and he calmly slotted past the keeper. There was still time for former Real striker Huntelaar to net a stunning consolation when he volleyed home from the edge of the area.