Austria striker Guido Bergstaller netted twice on Sunday as Schalke 04 broke its six-match winless streak with a 3-0 victory at home to Augsburg in the Bundesliga.
Schalke's coach Markus Weinzierl had an enjoyable afternoon against his former club as the Royal Blues wrapped up the win with just over half an hour played in Gelsenkirchen.
"We put in a very strong first half - I must pay the team a big compliment," said Weinzierl, whose team next face Borussia Moenchengladbach away in the Europa League's last 16 after Thursday's 1-1 first-leg draw.
"In the second half, you could see we had a few games in our legs. A lot of people have written us off in the Europa League, but we still believe in our chance," he added ahead of Thursday's away leg at Gladbach.
Burgstaller opened the scoring with four minutes gone when he stabbed home at the far post from a corner, then grabbed his second on 29 minutes after a cross from Cameroon's Eric Choupo-Moting.
Schalke captain Benedikt Hoewedes, a World Cup winner with Germany, conceded a penalty by fouling Augsburg's burly striker Raul Bobadilla.
Goalkeeper Ralf Faehrmann saved Paul Verhaegh's spot kick on 32 minutes but Schalke's attacking midfielder Daniel Caligiuri netted the home team's third goal just two minutes later.
The victory reverses Schalke's slide down the table. It climbed two places to 11th, two ahead of Augsburg.
It takes the pressure off Schalke's coach Weinzierl, who had been under the cosh following last weekend's 4-2 drubbing at Borussia Moenchengladbach.
At the top of the table, leaders Bayern Munich extended its lead to 10 points on Saturday after its 3-0 win over Eintracht Frankfurt on a red-letter day for the Bavarian giants as its nearest rivals lost.
Second-placed RB Leipzig crashed to a shock 1-0 defeat at home to Wolfsburg, while Borussia Dortmund, which is third, suffered a Champions League hangover in the capital as it lost 2-1 at Hertha Berlin.
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