Real Madrid paid a heavy price for their qualification to the last 8 of the Champions League against Schalke 04 on Tuesday night when striker Jese Rodriguez was taken to hospital with what looked like a knee ligament injury.
Cristiano Ronaldo, who scored twice and Alvaro Morata, gave Madrid a 3-1 win on the night and a 9-2 aggregate win, but perhaps Jese will be the player who takes the headlines.
Video: Cristiano Ronaldo – Real Madrid vs Schalke
The player, considered to be the pearl of the Madrid youth system, needed to be carried off the pitch at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium after just two minutes as the result of a hard challenge from Schalke left back Sead Kolasinac.
Early indications from the club were that he could have suffered a ligament injury, although further tests will need to be carried out to determine the full extent of the damage.
Jese was among several youngsters given their chance in the game, which was very much a formality for Real Madrid given that they had defeated Schalke 6-1 in Germany three weeks ago.
Alvaro Morata, Asier Illaramendi, Nacho Gonzalez and Isco were all in the starting 11. Gareth Bale replaced Jese, who set up the first goal with a pass from Cristiano Ronaldo to score the first goal of the game.
Morata earned the disapproval of the fans with a couple of bad misses before Schalke drew level on the night when Tim Hoogland’s shot was deflected past Iker Casillas just after the half hour.
Knowing the tie was lost, Schalke also fielded several fringe players and the fact they had no chance of qualifying was highlighted when they substituted Klaas jan Huntelaar at the break.
The second half saw Ronaldo score again, his 13th goal to date in this season’s competition, while Morata finally got on the scoresheet after pushing home a Ronaldo shot which had hit the crossbar.
So Madrid are into the quarter-finals with a far easier passage than could have been imagined but everyone will be waiting with baited breath for the result of Jese’s tests.
Here are the Match Pictures: [fbphotos id=670382393019869]