Real Madrid close in on Champions League defence

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Real Madrid took a big step towards becoming the first side to successfully defend the Champions League with a 2-0 away win in their last-16 first leg tie against Schalke.

Goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Marcelo have given them a healthy advantage to take home for the return leg. Schalke had been embarrassed 9-2 on aggregate last season by the Spanish giants but put up greater resistance under new coach Roberto Di Matteo.

The former Chelsea boss, successful in this competition in 2012, set out his team with a back-five in an effort to prevent the rampaging runs of Bale and Ronaldo. Schalke had chances to take the lead before Ronaldo struck and the late goal from Marcelo may have put the tie beyond the Germans.

Bayern Munich struggled to a 0-0 draw away to Shakhtar Donetsk after Xabi Alonso was sent off in his 100th Champions League appearance. It was a fiery encounter with six other players receiving yellow cards and Bayern were disappointing after winning their previous league game 8-0. There was no sign of the confident flowing football on this occasion and they settled for a draw once Alonso had received his marching orders with 25 minutes remaining.

Chelsea were also guilty of a negative approach in their 1-1 draw in Paris against PSG. The home side dominated the game but found Thibaut Courtois in brilliant form for the Blues. Chelsea then scored with their only meaningful attack when Branislav Ivanovic headed home ten minutes before the break.

Edinson Cavani levelled the match early in the second half but PSG could not find a way past Courtois to take a lead back to Stamford Bridge. Chelsea will be pleased with their night?s work having had to come back from a 3-1 deficit in last year?s competition.

Porto required a second-half penalty from Danilo to earn a 1-1 draw in Basel, a result that gives them the edge going into the second leg. Gonzalez had put the Swiss champions ahead after only 11 minutes but they could not hold out despite Porto having two goals disallowed.

There are four further Champions League matches this week. On Tuesday 24th February, Juventus host Borussia Dortmund while Manchester City are at home to Barcelona. On Wednesday 25th February, Arsenal welcome Monaco to the Emirates Stadium while Bayer Leverkusen face Atletico Madrid.