Schalke moved above rivals Borussia Dortmund into second place in the Bundesliga table following a 2-0 victory over Hertha Berlin. Chinedu Obasi and Klaas Jan Huntelaar struck either side of the interval to hand the Royal Blues a comfortable home win to kick-off matchday 29.
Jens Keller's side came off the back of a goalless derby in midweek at Dortmund as both teams look to enhance their budget books with second and third infinitely securing a place in next season's UEFA Champions League.
Yet, the momentum is with a youthful, in-form Schalke who have won all but two of their matches in the second half of the season. And it was not long before the high-in-confidence Royal Blues tested Rune Jarstein. After four minutes, assured teenager Kaan Ayhan smashed the woodwork with a decent free-kick from 18 yards.
With a quarter of an hour played, Schalke were off the mark. Obasi skipped away from a few half-hearted challenges, before rounding Jarstein and tucking the ball in from a tight angle. While Schalke dominated the proceedings, Hertha saved their clearest openings for the tail-end of the half with Anis Ben-Hatira shooting off target after 36 minutes and just before the break.
But before the Hertha fans could even get back into their seats for the restart, Schalke notched a second goal within half a minute of the second half.
Nigerian winger Obasi turned provider, slipping a neat through ball for Huntelaar who slammed under the Norwegian keeper to net his 11th goal of an injury-hit campaign.
Substitute Adam Szalai almost created a third for the Royal Blues seconds after coming off the bench. The Hungarian international's chipped ball was just inches away from the powering Joel Matip, who was behind the play after 75 minutes.
The Berliners had a goal ruled out with ten minutes left in a rare foray into the box as Schalke saw out the game with relative ease.