Ajax romped to victory to close the gap at the top while there were also narrow wins for Groningen and AZ Alkmaar.
Luis Suarez scored twice in a dominant Ajax display as Eredivisie basement club RKC Waalwijk were brushed aside 5-1 at a sold-out Mandemakers Stadion.
Siem de Jong put the visitors in front and, after striker Marko Pantelic's own goal put RKC back on terms, Suarez restored Ajax's advantage.
Hans Mulder's unfortunate own goal put the result almost beyond doubt.
And, after Ruud Berger was sent off for RKC, Suarez and Dennis Rommedahl wrapped up Ajax's eighth successive league win - a run in which they have scored 29 goals and conceded only two - to move them within four points of leaders FC Twente.
David Mendes da Silva came back to haunt Sparta Rotterdam, scoring the only goal of the game to keep AZ Alkmaar's push for fourth place very much alive.
Oluwafemi Ajilore's first-minute goal proved enough for FC Groningen to see off Roda JC 1-0 as Ron Jans' side remained in contention for a Europa League play-off place.
ADO Den Haag remain in dire relegation danger after being held to a home stalemate by fellow strugglers VVV Venlo.