In the Champions League first-leg quarter final ties played around Europe, Real Madrid cruised past Tottenham Hotspur with a comprehensive 4-0 victory at the Santiago Bernabeu while German side Schalke 04 humiliated holders Inter Milan with a 5-2 win at the San Siro.
In Madird, two goals from on-loan striker Adebayor and two further goals from Angel Di Maria and Ronaldo apiece saw Real all but secure their passage into the semis after Spurs had Peter Crouch sent-off early for two bookable offences.
Adebayor scored his first off a corner in as early as the fourth minute before Crouch was sent off in the 15 minute for a needless foul on Marcelo while already on a yellow card. It led to some intensive periods of pressure from Madrid and it paid off 10 minutes into the second half when a quickly taken corner saw Adebayor grab his second with a well directed header. That opened the flood gates and Spurs found themselves restricted to barely seconds of possession. Real surged forward in a more relaxed manner and in the 72nd minute, Di Maria cut in from the right to smash into the top-left corner with a powerful, swerving left-footed strike. With three minutes to go, Ronaldo rubbed salt into Spurs' wounds when he hit a low, first time volley from inside the box and saw it creep beneath Gomes and into goal.
It was a thoroughly deserved win for Madrid and it is highly doubtful whether Spurs could have stopped the determined Spaniards even with eleven men. They face a huge task if they are to maintain their European run in the second leg on April 13.
Elsewhere in Europe, holders Inter Milan will have to come up with something extraordinary if they are to overturn a 5-2 home loss to Schalke at the San Siro.
Inter led twice in the first half, but found the scores levelled on both occasions. Dejan Stankovic opened the scoring in just 25 seconds with a breath-taking volley from the centre circle. However, Joel Matip levelled before Diego Milito restored Inter's lead. The lead was cancelled out when Edu equalized to send the teams in at half time with the score at 2-2. However, home fans expecting Inter to step up a gear were disappointed as it was the visitors who did so. Raul, Andrea Ranocchia's own goal and Edu all added three more against Schalke's name as Christian Chivu picked up a red card, capping off a disastrous night for last season's treble winners.