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Real Madrid whistled off after surviving massive Schalke scare

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Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his second goal in Real Madrid's Champions League last-16 second-leg clash with Schalke 04 at the Bernabeu. Photo: Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his second goal in Real Madrid's Champions League last-16 second-leg clash with Schalke 04 at the Bernabeu. Photo: Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

Bongarts/Getty Images

Cristiano Ronaldo celebrates after scoring his second goal in Real Madrid's Champions League last-16 second-leg clash with Schalke 04 at the Bernabeu. Photo: Alex Grimm/Bongarts/Getty Images

Holders Real Madrid scraped into the quarter-finals 5-4 on aggregate against Schalke last night despite a first home Champions League defeat since April 2011.

Schalke striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar struck twice to end his former club's 21-match unbeaten run at the Bernabeu in the competition but the German side could not force the goal in the last six minutes which would have taken them into the last eight.

Unhappy fans whistled and waved white handkerchiefs to show their displeasure at the end and the 4-3 defeat took the gloss off another record-breaking night for Cristiano Ronaldo. The Portugal international twice equalised with first-half headers with the second, moments before half-time, taking him level with Lionel Messi as the Champions League's joint-highest scorer with 75.

Messi will have the chance to respond against Manchester City next week but Ronaldo was at least able to claim one outright record as his second took him beyond former Real striker Raul to become the player with the most goals in all European competitions (78).

His two goals papered over the cracks of some shambolic defending from the champions, which had let Christian Fuchs and then Huntelaar give the visitors a real chance of turning around a 2-0 deficit from the first leg. However, Ronaldo's second and Karim Benzema's 20th of the season just after the interval appeared to have taken the game well beyond Schalke's reach. But Leroy Sane, on only his ninth senior appearance, pulled one back with over half an hour to go and Huntelaar set up a grandstand finish. Real goalkeeper Iker Casillas had Ronaldo to thank after slack handling errors contributed to Schalke twice taking the lead.

Yet Schalke were not exempt from poor defending and Ronaldo was inexplicably given a free run from the edge of the area to head in Fabio Coentrao's cross on the stroke of half-time for his 41st goal of the season.

In last night's other tie, Porto thrashed Basel 4-0 to reach the quarter-finals for the first time since 2004, when the Portuguese club won Champions League.

Goals from Yacine Brahimi, Hector Herrera, Casemiro ad Vincent Aboubakar built on a draw in Switzerland to give Porto a 5-1 aggregate victory.

Irish Independent