Match ends, FC Schalke 04 0, Real Madrid 2.
- Madrid have 10 straight Champions League wins
- Ronaldo has 58 goals in 58 Champions League games
- Marcelo's stunning strike doubles lead
- Second leg at Bernabeu on 10 March
Cristiano Ronaldo ended a three-game goal drought as Real Madrid took control of their Champions League last-16 tie with Schalke in Gelsenkirchen.
The forward's form was questioned before kick-off but he headed in Dani Carvajal's cross to open the scoring.
He also created the second goal which arrived moments after Schalke's Felix Platte had smashed against the bar.
Marcelo capitalised, driving into the top corner, and the holders will take a healthy lead to Madrid on 10 March.
Los Blancos ended a 12-year wait to capture 'La Decima' - a 10th European Cup win - last season and thumped Schalke 9-2 on aggregate at the same stage of the competition.
While this result may not lead to such a convincing margin of victory, it was achieved with dominance from the start and Carlo Ancelotti's side ended with 61% possession.
Los Blancos have now won 10 straight games in the competition and with James Rodriguez to return from injury to assist Gareth Bale, Benzema and Ronaldo, they have a stockpile of talent to threaten retaining the trophy.
Ronaldo has a staggering 58 goals in 58 appearances in the competition but judged on his own incredible standards, the Fifa World Player of the Year's form was a hot topic at Ancelotti's pre-match news conference.
It took just 26 minutes for him to repay his manager's backing, beating Schalke goalkeeper Timon Wellenreuther to the ball to head home.
The Portuguese has now scored in 12 straight Champions League away games and Madrid should have should have taken further control minutes later but Benzema could only drive at the goalkeeper's legs when clean through.
Schalke's solid early start - built on deep defending when Madrid kept possession - had been undone and only Wellenreuther's diving save prevented Ronaldo a second with a dipping free-kick.
Roberto Di Matteo's side lost ex-Madrid striker Klaas-Jan Huntelaar to injury before the break but stuck to their task defensively in the second period and will rue Platte's narrow miss.
The substitute rattled the woodwork from 18 yards with Iker Casillas beaten and Atsuto Uchida's follow up lacked the power or direction to level.
It would prove a key moment as when Ronaldo dribbled from the left flank to feed Marcelo, the Brazilian full-back drew his right foot to thunder into the top corner.
Only Barcelona and Juventus have won by a two-goal margin in the Champions League at the Bernabeu in the last 10 years but Schalke will need to do just that if they are to reach the quarter-finals for only the third time in their history.
- 12HögerSubstituted forMeyerat 80'minutes
- 33NeustädterBooked at 45minsSubstituted forKirchhoffat 57'minutesBooked at 63mins
- 9BoatengBooked at 34mins
- 25HuntelaarSubstituted forPlatteat 33'minutes
- 15CarvajalSubstituted forArbeloaat 82'minutes
- 8KroosBooked at 9mins
- 23IscoSubstituted forIllarramendiat 85'minutes
- 9BenzemaSubstituted forHernándezat 78'minutes
- 7Cristiano Ronaldo
- 20Rodríguez Ruiz
- Martin Atkinson
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, FC Schalke 04 0, Real Madrid 2.
Gareth Bale (Real Madrid) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Dennis Aogo (FC Schalke 04).
Substitution, Real Madrid. Asier Illarramendi replaces Isco.
Substitution, Real Madrid. Álvaro Arbeloa replaces Daniel Carvajal.
Offside, FC Schalke 04. Eric Choupo-Moting tries a through ball, but Max Meyer is caught offside.
Substitution, FC Schalke 04. Max Meyer replaces Marco Höger.
Goal! FC Schalke 04 0, Real Madrid 2. Marcelo (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Cristiano Ronaldo.
Substitution, Real Madrid. Javier Hernández replaces Karim Benzema.
Offside, Real Madrid. Gareth Bale tries a through ball, but Karim Benzema is caught offside.
Marcelo (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Marco Höger (FC Schalke 04).
Corner, FC Schalke 04. Conceded by Iker Casillas.
Attempt saved. Atsuto Uchida (FC Schalke 04) left footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal.
Felix Platte (FC Schalke 04) hits the bar with a right footed shot from outside the box. Assisted by Atsuto Uchida.
Attempt blocked. Cristiano Ronaldo (Real Madrid) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Benedikt Höwedes (FC Schalke 04).
Attempt missed. Isco (Real Madrid) right footed shot from the right side of the box is high and wide to the left. Assisted by Gareth Bale.