Over a four-day span, Schalke had to play arguably the two best teams on the planet right now: Real Madrid and Bayern Munich. Four days. Four days! They didn't even get a full week between the matches so they could take a little bit of time to just cry, play with some puppies, listen to Elliott Smith records and seriously consider starting a rental car business. Four days.
After losing 6-1 to Real Madrid in the Champions League round of 16 on Wednesday, Schalke went to Munich on Saturday and promptly conceded four goals in the first half hour of play against Bayern. Kyriakos Papadopoulos was sent off in the 76th minute and Bayern ended up winning 5-1, bringing the combined score of Schalke's four-day torture session to 11-2.
This was roughly the footballing equivalent to fighting Mike Tyson in his prime and then four days later fighting Muhammad Ali at his best. Or playing tennis against Rafa Nadal and then getting hit by 1,000 buses.
Schalke now have two heavenly matches against midtable sides Hoffenheim and Augsburg before they must drag their brutalized carcasses to Madrid for the second leg of their Spanish misery. After what happened this week, there's a good chance the Real Madrid players will simply hug their Schalke counterparts for 90 minutes while the local supporters feed them chocolates and tell them "good job" after successfully chewing each one.
Meanwhile, life remains permanently glorious for Bayern. Their lead over second-place Borussia Dortmund (20 points) is still so large that they have forgotten this is supposed to be a competition.
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