PSV Eindhoven and Ajax both picked up hard-fought victories on Saturday evening to ensure the gap separating the Dutch powerhouses at the top of the Eredivisie remains at two points.
Leaders PSV far from had things all their own way as they needed an injury-time strike by Mark van Bommel to made certain of a 2-0 win at home to second-bottom VVV-Venlo.
Memphis Depay had handed the hosts the lead inside three minutes but VVV refused to lie down and the match was in the balance until Van Bommel struck at the death.
Ajax stayed in touch as they won 2-0 at FC Twente, whose own title aspirations are now all but over as they slipped nine points off the pace on the back of their seventh match without a win.
Alfred Schreuder took charge of Twente after Steve McClaren quit earlier this week, but the interim boss could not deliver a first win since December 21 as Ajax claimed the points with goals from Niklas Moisander in the fourth minute and fellow defender Toby Alderweireld after 25.
The victory takes the Amsterdammers three points clear of surprise title aspirants Vitesse Arnhem, who had pulled level with victory over FC Utrecht on Friday night.
Heerenveen pulled seven points clear of the relegation play-off zone with a 2-1 win at NAC Breda.
NAC looked on course for the points thanks to Nemanja Gudelj's 49th-minute strike, but Alfred Finnbogason struck a quickfire double inside the final 10 minutes to lift Heerenveen to the win.
PEC Zwolle also put some daylight between themselves and the bottom three as they moved four points clear of danger with a 2-0 win at home to bottom side Willem II.
Goals from Arsenio Valpoort (57) and Mateusz Klich (60) sealed the win as Willem II remain cast adrift at the foot of the standings, nine points from safety with nine games remaining.