Hearts started the post-Graham Rix era with a late 2-1 victory at second from bottom Falkirk.
The Edinburgh club took a half-time lead after Paul Hartley steered home Rudi Skacel's cross from seven yards out on 22 minutes.
The Bairns restored parity just before the break after referee Alan Freeland adjudged Roman Bednar to have handled Alan Gow's free kick in Hearts' box.
Gow stepped up to take the spot kick which Craig Gordon initially saved before the Falkirk striker roofed the rebound into the net to make it 1-1 at half time.
That scoreline remained until nine minutes from time when Edgaras Jankauskas (pictured) took a Calum Elliot through ball before finishing past on-loan Falkirk goalkeeper Mark Howard for an important 2-1 victory.
Rangers remain six points behind The Jambos for that all-important UEFA Champions League place after a 1-0 home win over Dunfermline Athletic.
Sotirios Kyrgiakos's header from substitute Peter Lovenkrands's cross from the right proved the difference between the sides at Ibrox.
Kilmarnock missed the chance to keep pace with the top three after being held to a 2-2 draw at Dundee United.
Steven Naismith gave Killie a two-lead lead at half time, with the first a header from an Allan Johnstone corner on 13 minutes.
He doubled the visitors' advantage five minutes later from another Johnstone corner, as Naismith's looping goal-bound strike struck a post and Terrors goalkeeper Derek Stillie before ending up in the back of the net.
To their credit, the Tayside club recovered in the second half for a point, with David McCracken heading home captain Derek McInnes's cross from the right for 2-1 on 47 minutes.
Four minutes later, The Terrors earned a point in controversial circumstances, as McInnes's shot from the edge of the box got past Alan Combe, despite Dundee United's David Fernandez standing in front of the Killie goalkeeper and in an offside position.
Inverness Caledonian Thistle moved into the top six after a fine 2-0 victory at Hibernian.
Following a goalless first half at Easter Road, Darren Dods gave Caley Thistle the lead just before the hour mark, pouncing on a loose ball from ten yards out.
Barry Wilson made sure of the points with 11 minutes left from the penalty spot after Hibernian's Gary Caldwell had brought him down in the box.
Finally, Motherwell came from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw at Aberdeen.
Steve Lovell gave The Dons the lead on 14 minutes from a rebounded strike that fell into his path before he doubled the home side's advantage eight minutes later when he converted Jamie Smith's flicked cross past Well goalkeeper Colin Meldrum.
The Well pulled a goal back when Brian McLean converted Steven Hammell's free kick in first-half injury time.
Terry Butcher's side made sure of a point from the Pittodrie clash with a penalty from Richie Foran four minutes after the break following Gary Dempsey's foul on Hammell in the Aberdeen box.
Click below for match summaries:
Aberdeen 2-2 Motherwell
Dundee United 2-2 Kilmarnock
Falkirk 1-2 Hearts
Hibernian 0-2 Inverness Caledonian Thistle
Rangers 1-0 Dunfermline Athletic