'What horror!' - Real Madrid slammed by Spanish media after loss to Schalke
Real Madrid may have scraped through into the Champions League quarterfinals despite losing 4-3 at home to Schalke on Tuesday, but the Spanish press still described the performance of Carlo Ancelotti's European champions as "a total disaster."
Madrid coach Ancelotti admitted that his team had played "very, very badly" while losing at the Bernabeu in their round-of-16 second leg, just about qualifying for the competition's last eight 5-4 on aggregate.
On Wednesday morning, local media agreed with the Italian.
"To the quarters, with shame," said the cover of AS, over a picture of club captain Iker Casillas ordering Cristiano Ronaldo -- who scored two of Madrid's goals on the night to go with the one he scored in the 2-0 first-leg win in Gelsenkirchen -- to remain on the pitch and accept the lengthy derision of the home fans at full-time.
Marca's front page exclaimed "What horror!" and added: "Los Blancos came close to the embarrassment of elimination despite the 2-0 first leg. Cristiano avoided catastrophe with two goals. The fans singled out Casillas and [Gareth] Bale, and sent the team off with tremendous jeers."
Inside AS, the match report from Juanma Trueba also pointed out how close the Champions League holders had come to the most painful of exits from this year's competition.
"For Madrid, the odds of elimination were comparable to those of being killed by a piano," Trueba wrote. "Anyone who did not watch the match could not imagine how close the keys were to the heads of the Madrid players, followed by the sound box, pedals and tail. Cristiano avoided a catastrophe. His goals were decisive on a night of progressive degeneration, from the bad to the ridiculous."
CHAMPIONS LEAGUE TOP SCORERS
1. Lionel Messi - 77 (97 games) - Barcelona
1. Cristiano Ronaldo - 77 (119) - Man Utd, Real Madrid
3. Raul - 71 (142) - Real Madrid, Schalke 04
4. Ruud van Nistelrooy - 56 (73) - PSV, Man Utd, Real Madrid
5. Thierry Henry - 50 (112) - Monaco, Arsenal, Barcelona
The AS website also featured a video of angry fans shouting abuse -- "rogues, dogs and worse" -- as the players left the stadium in their cars.
At El Pais, Jose Samano's match report said the team had escaped alive on Tuesday night, but the performance would not be forgotten.
"They will be in the quarterfinals, but this tie will have consequences," Samano wrote. "Ancelotti's team were disconnected, full of holes in every line, not together at all. Cristiano, at least in Europe maintains his level.
"Madrid were horrific, a total disaster. A small team, awful, without energy, with some in their hammocks, others with marble in their legs and many others without a compass."
The reaction in Catalonia was similarly damning, if lighter in tone. Mundo Deportivo's report began: "The current Real Madrid is good for nothing, absolutely nothing, and even less to win La Liga or the Champions League."
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Over in Germany, the papers highlighted Schalke's performance but also took note of the in-crisis Real Madrid.
Die Welt's headline was a simple "4-3 -- Schalke disgrace Real Madrid at the Bernabeu," adding: "Schalke parade champions Real Madrid with a gala. But that's not enough for a miracle."
Bild ran the headline "Schalke, wonderful," before commenting: "Schalke sensed the miracle. But Real have Cristiano Ronaldo [and nothing else]."
Germany's biggest tabloid noted that Real's Germany internationals Sami Khedira and Toni Kroos "were nowhere to be seen," and also highlighted the atmosphere at the Bernabeu. "Real supporters whistled their team mercilessly, already during the match."
Suddeutsche Zeitung said: "FC Schalke 04 outplayed Real Madrid in their own monumental living room. In the end Iker Casilla's two classy saves spared his club the worst case embarrassment."
The paper also highlighted Max Meyer's performance, who "brilliantly steered the match" and left "Real disorientated."
When it was all over, Schalke -- "the quarterfinalist of hearts" -- were "fabulous losers."
"Fought like a lion," Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung headlined and added: "'The Hunter' [Klaas-Jan Huntelaar] scored twice, hit the crossbar once, and thus played a huge role in the 'miners' from the Ruhr Area having the 'royals' from the Spanish capital on the cusp of an extraordinary humiliation," they said.