Three days after a 0-0 draw at Ruhr rivals Borussia Dortmund, the Gelsenkirchen side moved up two places in the table as the battle for automatic qualification for the Champions League heats up.

However, Dortmund can reclaim second place behind champions Bayern Munich on Saturday with victory at relegation-threatened Stuttgart.

Nigerian Chinedu Obasi, making the most of his place in the team in the absence of Kevin-Prince Boateng, put Schalke in front after 16 minutes with Dutch star Klaas-Jan Huntelaar adding the second goal just after the interval.

It was Huntelaar's 11th goal in 13 matches in a campaign disrupted by knee surgery.

Sebastian Langkamp had a goal ruled out for Hertha in the 80th minute.