Schalke's Klaas-Jan Huntelaar is carried by teammate Jefferson Farfan after scoring his team's third goal during the Bundesliga match against Hannover 96 in Gelsenkirchen yesterday.
Raul conjured one of the goals of the season as he struck twice to give Schalke 04 a 3-0 win over Hanover 96 in the German Bundesliga yesterday and keep it on course for a place in the Champions League.
Dutchman Klaas-Jan Huntelaar completed the win with his 24th goal of the season in a game between two of the sides knocked out of the Europa League last Thursday.
Schalke stayed third, enough to take it straight to the group stage of the Champions League next season, and opened up a five-point gap over Borussia Moenchengladbach in fourth.
Huub Stevens' team has 57 points from 29 games, six behind second-placed Bayern Munich and a further three behind leader and arch-rival Borussia Dortmund.
Hanover is seventh with 41.
Schalke, eliminated from the Europa League by Athletic Bilbao, was given an early boost when former Real Madrid and Spain forward Raul rose at the near post to head in Jefferson Farfan's free kick from the right in the sixth minute.
Farfan smashed a ball against the post shortly afterwards as the hosts dominated the game against Hanover, whose Europa League campaign ended at the hands of Atletico Madrid.
The highlight came two minutes after halftime when Peru forward Farfan laid the ball off for Raul on the edge of the penalty area. The 34-year-old took the ball past one defender then left goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler floundering with a cheeky dragback and slotted the ball into the net with his right foot.
It was his 14th Bundesliga goal of the season, his 20th in all competitions and his 39th since his surprise move to Gelsenkirchen at the start of last season.
Just after the hour, Farfan broke down the right and laid the ball for Huntelaar to score.