Schalke get huge away goals advantage
Holders Inter Milan faced almost certain elimination from the Champions League after collapsing to a stunning 5-2 home defeat by a makeshift Schalke 04 team in their quarter-final first leg at the San Siro on Tuesday.
Inter looked on course to continue the defence of their title when in the first minute Schalke goalkeeper Manuel Neuer ran out to head the ball clear and Dejan Stankovic calmly volleyed the ball into the net from just inside his own half.
The German side struck back through Joel Matip and although Diego Milito briefly restored Inter's lead, two goals from Edu, one from Raul and an own goal by Andrea Ranocchia put Schalke in complete control of the tie.
Image: Schalke 04's Edu (centre) celebrates after scoring as Inter Milan's goalkeeper Julio Cesar (right) and Andrea Ranocchia (left) react
Milito strikes Champions League goal of the season
Inter's night got even worse when defender Cristian Chivu was sent off for his second yellow card midway through the second half.
The match had an extraordinary start when Neuer rushed out of his area to head clear Esteban Cambiasso's long ball forward.
His clearance landed at the feet of Stankovic who produced an exquisite volley which flew over the bemused goalkeeper and into the goal.
Schalke levelled in the 17th minute when Kyriakos Papadopoulos's was saved by Julio Cesar but Matip followed up to bury the rebound.
Inter retook the lead in the 34th minute when Wesley Sneijder picked out Cambiasso at the far post and he headed the ball into the path of fellow Argentine Milito, who sidefooted his first Champions League goal of the season.
Image: Inter Milan's Diego Milito (left) shoots and scores as Joel Matip of Schalke looks on
Raul added to Schalke's tally, extends his personal record
It took only six minutes for Schalke to level again when Alexander Baumjohann sent Edu free down the right and he scored at the second attempt after Julio Cesar once again saved in vain.
Inter made an electric start to the second half, Milito failing to put away a clear chance after he scuttled clear of the Schalke defence and Neuer atoning for his eccentricity with a superb save to deny Samuel Eto'o.
Schalke made the most of their let-off as Spanish striker Raul scored with a trademark finish in the 53rd minute to extend his record as the competition's leading scorer.
Four minutes later, disaster struck for the Italians when Jose Manuel Jurado broke down the right and his low cross was turned into his own net by Ranocchia.
Inter completely lost their shape at that point and Jurado struck the post before Edu added another, sparking a mass exodus of Inter fans.
Image: Schalke 04's Raul Gonzalez (left) scores past Inter Milan's goalkeeper Julio Cesar (right) and Andrea Ranocchia (2nd from left)
Adebayor leads Real to 4-0 rout of 10-man Spurs
Real Madrid gave their quest for a 10th European Cup crown a major boost when Emmanuel Adebayor netted twice in a 4-0 destruction of 10-man Tottenham Hotspur in a Champions League quarter-final first leg on Tuesday.
Tottenham are making their debut in the competition but the London club's chances of getting any further than the last eight were dealt a big blow when striker Peter Crouch was booked twice inside the first 15 minutes and received a red card.
Real were already 1-0 up after Togo striker Adebayor outjumped his marker at a fourth-minute corner and sent a powerful downward header goalwards that neither keeper Heurelho Gomes or Luka Modric on the line could keep out.
Image: Tottenham Hotspur's Peter Crouch (right) receives the matching orders from referee Felix Brych of Germany
'To the final, let's go Madrid'
Adebayor added a second header in the 57th minute before Angel Di Maria lashed the best goal of the night with a powerful shot into the top corner in the 72nd and Cristiano Ronaldo completed the rout in the closing stages.
A giant flag reading "To the final, let's go Madrid" and covering almost the entire first tier of the stands on one side of the stadium was unfurled before kickoff at the Bernabeu and Real began the game at a blistering tempo.
Spurs winger Gareth Bale, returning from injury, was the main threat for the visitors.
The Welsh international dashed on to a long ball on the half hour and left Sergio Ramos in his wake before sending his angled shot into the side netting in what was probably Tottenham's best chance of the game.
Image: Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (centre) is congratulated by teammates Pepe and Sergio Ramos (left) after scoring against Tottenham Hotspur
Electric Real produce slew of chances
The hosts laid siege to the Spurs goal in the second half and Adebayor, on loan from Manchester City, forced a fine save from Gomes with another header in the 66th minute as Real produced a slew of chances.
Adebayor, who had a spell with Tottenham's north London rivals Arsenal before joining City, has now scored 10 times against Spurs and was given a huge ovation when he was replaced by Gonzalo Higuain in the 75th minute.
The second leg is at White Hart Lane next Wednesday and 2009 winners Barcelona or Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine await in the semi-finals.
Image: Real Madrid's players celebrate after Angel Di Maria's goal against Tottenham Hotspur