Ajax were frustrated by lowly Roda JC on Sunday as they failed to take advantage of PSV Eindhoven's draw on Saturday.
Eredivise leaders PSV took just a point at Vitesse Arnhem but Ajax failed to make inroads and had to settle for a 1-1 draw of their own on home turf.
Adil Ramzi gave strugglers Roda a 39th-minute lead before Daley Blind grabbed a 54th-minute equaliser.
FC Twente had the chance to replace Ajax in second but they too were held, 1-1 by FC Zwolle. Twente took control in the 11th minute when Dusan Tadic scored only for Denni Avdic to convert a penalty nine minutes from time.
Feyenoord went into third place as a result of their 3-1 success against visiting AZ Alkmaar. Strikes from Jean-Paul Boetius and Roy Beerens cancelled each other out before AZ's Nick Viergever was sent off in the 67th minute.
That opened the door for Feyenoord, who took advantage through Jordy Clasie (72) and Tonny Vilhena (90).
NEC Nijmegenn were comfortable 3-0 winners at Utrecht, with Melvin Platje, Erik Falkenburg and Ruud Boymans all on target.