A first-half strike from Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting gave Schalke a crucial 1-0 win over Hoffenheim as the hosts climbed into the Bundesliga’s top four.
Schalke had come into the game on a run of only one victory from seven in the top flight, but Friday’s narrow triumph made it five straight home league wins over Hoffenheim.
The struggling visitors, who have won only twice in the league this season, remain second from bottom.
Klaas-Jan Huntelaar had given Hoffenheim an early warning when his left-footed snapshot was well held by Oliver Baumann, before the decisive goal arrived in the 28th minute.
Johannes Geis sent in a deep cross from right and Choupo-Moting outmuscled Pavel Kaderabek to get to the ball first and divert it into the far corner.
Hoffenheim had more possession in a quiet second half, but failed to register a shot on target after the break as their dreadful season continued.