Real Madrid coach, Carlo Ancelotti, hailed his side’s ‘perfect performance’ following their 6-1 hammering of Schalke, and says the game was Gareth Bale’s best performance.
The nine-time Champions League winners had only won one of their last 24 trips to Germany in the competition, but were never troubled on Wednesday night.
Karim Benzema, Gareth Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo all scored twice with a late consolation goal by former Real Madrid forward Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.
"It was a perfect game. We played very well, together and helping each other," said Real coach Ancelotti.
"We got well into the match, scored two early goals and that opened the game and left us able to counter and to use the speed of our players.
"It could be Bale's best game of the season yet as he had more confidence and he attacked very well in deep areas."
The game could have turned into another direction, if Schalke had equalized Real’s early lead, but a world-class save by Iker Casillas in the 14th minute denied Julian Draxler the equalizer.
"It was an incredible save, maybe the crucial moment of the match," Ancelotti continued.
"It protected our lead."
Casillas was probably the only Madrid player who left the pitch frustrated, after Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored Schalke’s consolation goal in injury-time. The goal put Casillas’ unbeaten run of 952 minutes without conceding in Champions League and Copa del Rey to an end.
Ancelotti, meanwhile, wasn’t surprised with Cristiano Ronaldo’s classy return from his three-match ban.
“Cristiano doesn’t surprise me. He was really up for the game following his ban,” the Italian added.
“He prepared very well for this game and played very well.”
Schalke's Julian Draxler admits the second leg will be a dead rubber for the German side and said: "The difference in class was clear. We can forget about the second leg and concentrate on the Bundesliga."
Can Real Madrid in their current form go on and win the Champions League this year? Have your say in the comment section below.