Chelsea draw, Real Madrid dazzle
CHELSEA became the only English team to secure a positive result from the Champions League last-16 first-leg ties with a 1-1 draw away at Galatasaray on Wednesday.
In the other game, Chelsea coach Jose Mourinho's former side Real Madrid strolled to a 6-1 win in Germany against Schalke 04.
Chelsea, winners of the trophy in 2012, slightly redeemed English Premier League honour with their result in Istanbul and, in the process, were also the only one of the quartet to even score a goal. Arsenal, Manchester City and Manchester United all lost 2-0, to holders Bayern Munich, Barcelona and Olympiakos, respectively.
Real's victory was never in doubt after they went 2-0 up early in the game - their first goal giving them a Champions League record of scoring in 32 successive matches - against a Schalke side that had not conceded more than one goal against Spanish opposition in Gelsenkirchen.
Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale both scored braces, with Cristiano Ronaldo marking his return from a three-game suspension with a double as well.
Mourinho may have been caught unawares by a camera crew deriding his strikers, but one of them, Fernando Torres, made no mistake for his ninth goal of the season in the ninth minute.
Aurelien Chedjou gave the hosts a deserved equaliser in the 62nd minute as he shook off John Terry to volley home.
Mourinho bemoaned the chances that had gone begging in the first half. "The result is not amazing, but we will take it," said the Portuguese, who is bidding to become the first manager to coach three different sides to Champions League glory.
"I am not being critical of my striker - Fernando had a fantastic game - but we missed control at crucial times and the final ball was lacking.
"It is not a bad result and is better than 0-0, but they are a very good team and have big strikers, so the second leg will be tough."
Real had the match wrapped up early on and, while Schalke had their chances, the visitors showed them what class finishing was all about.
Ronaldo's first was probably the pick of the bunch, as he bedazzled Joel Matip with three stepovers before unleashing his shot which whistled into the net.
The Ballon d'Or winner's double took him to the top of the scoring charts for the competition this season with 11. "The team have played a lot of good games and this is one more," said Ronaldo. "We played well and didn't allow Schalke to play at their best. We are happy and a step away from the next round.
"The Schalke goalkeeper did very well and made good saves, but I believe in my ability and my teammates helped me a lot.
"I am very happy to score two goals."
Schalke's goal was special too - a stunning volley by former Real player Klaas-Jan Huntelaar, but it came in the second minute of time added on and drew only resigned applause from the Schalke bench and a wistful look up to the sky.
"You can see the disappointment etched on our faces, but we will come back from this," said Schalke captain Benedikt Hoewedes.