Predictably, Schalke was bullied out of the Champions League by Real Madrid on Tuesday. Unpredictably, Schalke made Real Madrid score five goals over two legs to do it. Trailing 2-0 on aggregate after a disappointing home loss two weeks ago, Schalke faced dire straits at the Bernabeu.
And yet the German knockout krill was resplendent anyway. Schalke led (deservedly) for a not insignificant portion of the match, and Real Madrid needed to plunge its hand deep into is moneybag just to lose 4-3. At home. Booed off by your own fans. Schalke was vibrant, exciting, alive. Real Madrid looked bored defensively and reactive in the attacking third but advanced anyway on aggregate.
Pleased they were not.