Updated: Saturday, 15 March 2014 05:53 | By Agence France-Presse

Huntelaar fires Schalke up to third

Klaas Jan Huntelaar scored a brace on Friday to give Schalke 04 a 2-1 win at Augsburg and move the Royal Blues up to third in the Bundesliga.

Huntelaar fires Schalke up to third

(From L) Midfielder Kevin-Prince Boateng, striker Jan Klaas Huntelaar and midfielder Leon Goretzka celebrate after the second goal during the Bundesliga football match FC Augsburg vs Schalke 04 in Augsburg on March 14, 2014 - by Christof Stache

The victory put Schalke on 47 points, moving three clear of Bayer Leverkusen in fourth, meaning they are now in an automatic Champions League qualifying position.

Having scored a hat-trick last weekend, Huntelaar maintained his rich vein of form by taking his tally to five goals in his last two games.

Tobias Werner opened the scoring for the hosts, who were on a run of just one defeat in 12 matches until this loss, on five minutes following a defensive error.

Huntelaar equalised on 33 minutes after slotting home the rebound when former Arsenal goalkeeper Alexander Manninger beat out a strike from Kevin-Prince Boateng.

And his second, his seventh goal this calendar year, came just four minutes after the restart.

It was a welcome boost ahead of Schalke's trip to Real Madrid on Tuesday for their hopeless Champions League last 16, second leg clash at the Bernabeu -- they lost the first leg at home 6-1.

On Saturday runaway leaders Bayern Munich tackle Leverkusen at their Allianz Arena.

Bayer were the last team to beat Bayern, who are on a 49-match unbeaten league run, back on October 28, 2012.

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