Ajax moved up to fourth in the Eredivisie after defeating RKC Waalwijk, while VVV Venlo climbed off the foot of the table.
Feyenoord and FC Utrecht shared four goals in an entertaining draw and Vitesse Arnhem and FC Groningen played out a game to forget.
An own goal from Guy Ramos gave Frank De Boer's Ajax their third successive Eredivisie victory at the expense of 10-man RKC Waalwijk.
Ramos put through his own net three minutes before the interval and it proved to be the only goal of the game. RKC's hopes of finding an equaliser were not helped by the second-half dismissal of Sigourney Bandjar.
The win lifts Ajax up to fourth in the table, although they still have to work to do if they are to overturn an eight-point deficit on leaders AZ Alkmaar.
Goals from Barry Maguire and Brian Linssen earned VVV Venlo a much-needed 2-0 home win over 10-man Roda JC to lift them off the foot of the table.
Maguire slotted home a penalty on the stroke of half-time after Roda keeper Pawel Kieszek was sent off.
And after Roda's Mads Junker missed a penalty of his own, Linssen's clinical finish in the 83rd minute eased the home side's nerves going into the closing stages.
Jerson Cabral struck a second-half equaliser to earn Feyenoord a 2-2 draw in an entertaining encounter with FC Utrecht.
The visitors took the lead in the second minute through John Guidetti, but Utrecht hit back to take the lead through Daan Bovenberg (31) and Edouard Duplan (51).
However, Cabral ensured the spoils were shared with the equaliser in the 66th minute with a shot goalkeeper Rob Van Dijk will feel he should have done better with.
There was nothing to separate Vitesse Arnhem and FC Groningen as the two European hopefuls played out a dour goalless draw at the GelreDome.
The home side headed into the match in seventh place on 25 points, with Groningen a place and three points worse off.
Little had changed by the end of a disappointing 90 minutes, with their positions remaining the same.