Third-placed Feyenoord maintained their five-point cushion over the chasing pack with a 1-0 win at struggling Groningen in Eredivisie.
Jens Toornstra’s fourth goal of the season in just the seventh minute was enough to prevent Vitesse Arnhem and FC Utrecht closing the gap.
The former were 3-1 winners at Willem II. Matus Bero, Oussama Darfalou and Bryan Linssen all scored before half-time with Francisco Soler registering a late consolation penalty.
Utrecht hammered next-bottom De Graafschap 5-0 as, after racing into a 3-0 lead midway through the first half courtesy of Sander Van De Streek, Willem Janssen and Gyrano Kerk, Nick Venema came off the bench to score twice in the final 10 minutes.
VVV Venlo snatched an unlikely 2-2 draw at home to AZ Alkmaar as Patrick Joosten equalised in the third minute of stoppage time – two minutes after team-mate Peter Van Ooijen had been sent off.
Teun Koopmeiners’ early penalty for the visitors was added to by Oussama Idrissi and although Peniel Mlapa pulled one back on the half-hour mark, the match looked to have gone against them with Oojen’s late dismissal, only for Joosten to come to the rescue.
Excelsior came from behind to beat Emmen 2-1 with an 89th-minute winner from Ryan Koolwijk after Ali Messaoud had cancelled out Anco Jansen’s opener just after half-time.