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FOOTBALL

Schalke lose 6-1 at home to Real Madrid

Real Madrid cruised to a rare victory on German soil as they romped to a 6-1 win at Schalke 04 in Wednesday's Champions League's last 16, first-leg clash.

Schalke lose 6-1 at home to Real Madrid
Photo: DPA

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Real are now all but guaranteed a quarter-final place even with the  return leg to come in Madrid on March 18 after Karim Benzema and Gareth Bale both scored braces.

Real's Ballon d'Or winner Cristiano Ronaldo also scored twice on his return from a three game suspension to see him take over from Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the competition's top-scorer this season with 11 goals.

"The team has 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 goalkeeper Ralf Fährmann admitted his side had been outclassed as Real fired in 21 goal attempts compared to 10 by the hosts.

"One save against Ronaldo isn't enough. Real Madrid were a class apart tonight," said Faehrmann.

"When you start conceding goals, it's almost impossible to come back against Real Madrid."

READ MORE from The Local's Sport section here

Netherlands striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored a 91st-minute consolation goal for Schalke, but it couldn't prevent the Royal Blues suffering their heaviest defeat in European competition.

"You can see the disappointment is etched on our faces, but we will come back from this," said Schalke captain Benedikt Höwedes.

Carlo Ancelotti's Real are now unbeaten in their last 27 games dating back to October.

"After the early goal, we started getting a lot of room, that was the reason for our perfect night," said the Italian.

The huge victory went some way to correcting Real's terrible away record in Germany as they made the Royal Blues of Schalke look anything but regal.

This was only Real's second win in 26 visits to Germany after 18 defeats, including their 4-1 drubbing at Borussia Dortmund in last season's Champions League's semi-final.

Real needed just 13 minutes to take the lead at the Veltins Arena as their star-studded attack clicked into gear.

Bale cut in from the right, the ball came to Ronaldo and his backheel was deflected by a Schalke defender to Benzema and he fired past Faehrmann.

Schalke could have equalised almost immediately as teenage midfielder Max Meyer fired over the bar with the goal at his mercy after Iker Casillas had blocked Julian Draxler's shot.

Schalke were punished for wasting their rare opportunity and with 21 minutes gone, Bale held off two Schalke defenders to make it 2-0.

Schalke's situation was not helped by Ronaldo effortlessly switching with Bale from the left to the right wing midway through the first half, only to revert back after the break.

Schalke came out all guns blazing for the second-half as Kevin-Prince Boateng forced Casillas into a save.

But Ronaldo finally got on the scoresheet at the fourth attempt to claim his 10th European goal of the season in his sixth Champions League match.

He effortlessly turned Cameroon centre-back Joel Matip inside, then out before tucking the ball just inside the far post with 52 minutes gone.

Just five minutes later, his deft backheel fell into Benzema's path for the Frenchman to drill home his second of the night and Real's fourth.

It was one-way traffic by now and Bale scored his second and Real's fifth when Sergio Ramos's through ball was driven low into the bottom left-hand corner on 69 minutes.

Ronaldo then grabbed his second on 89 minutes to leave him with 36 goals in 33 games for Real this season before Huntelaar finally put Schalke on the board just before the final whistle.

SEE ALSO: Löw worries over injured stars ahead of World Cup

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FOOTBALL

British football teams allowed to skip Germany’s quarantine for Euro 2020

Germany's government announced on Tuesday it will allow England, Scotland and Wales to enter the country without quarantine to play at Euro 2020 despite a recent rise in cases linked to the Delta variant of Covid-19 in Britain.

British football teams allowed to skip Germany's quarantine for Euro 2020
One of the venues for Euro 2020 is in Munich. Photo: picture alliance/dpa | Sven Hoppe

The three teams could potentially reach the quarter-final held in Munich on July 2nd.

If that were the case, they would be exempt from the rule that travellers from the United Kingdom and Northern Ireland must currently observe a 14-day isolation period due to the virus strain of concern – Delta – first identified in India.

“The people accredited for the European football Championship are exempt from the quarantine obligation, even after arriving from an area impacted by a variant” Berlin said in a statement.

“This exemption concerns all the people who have been accredited by the organising committee for the preparation, participation, the holding and the follow-up of international sporting events,” it added.

The exemption does not include fans, who will be obliged to follow German government self-isolation rules.

Germany declared the UK a ‘virus variant area of concern’ on May 23rd due to rising cases linked to the Delta variant in parts of the country. 

READ ALSO: Germany makes UK ‘virus variant area of concern’: How does it affect you?

This reclassification came just seven days after the UK was put back on Germany’s list at the lowest risk level, and barely a month after it was taken off all risk lists completely.

The ban was put in place despite the UK’s relatively low Covid rates as a precautionary measure.

A general ban on entry is in place for people coming from countries on the ‘virus variant’ list – such as India and Brazil – the highest of Germany’s risk categories. 

There are some exceptions for entering from these countries – for example German residents and citizens. However, anyone who does enter from Germany is required to submit a Covid-19 test before boarding the flight and must quarantine for 14 days on arrival, regardless of whether they are fully vaccinated or not.

READ ALSO: Germany’s new relaxed quarantine and testing rules after travel

Euro 2020 starts on Friday as Italy host Turkey in Rome with the Bavarian city hosting three group games as well as the last-eight match.

Around 14,000 fans will be allowed into the Allianz Arena for the fixtures.

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