PSV Eindhoven enjoyed a one-sided 3-0 victory over strugglers VVV-Venlo to maintain their slender advantage at the top of the Eredivisie.
• Saturday's Eredivisie round-up
Wilfred Bouma and Jeremain Lens gave the visitors an interval lead before Atiba Hutchinson put the result beyond doubt at the start of the second half.
VVV remain second from bottom and with six points to make up on Excelsior above them and keeps PSV one point ahead of FC Twente, who beat FC Groningen 2-1.
Twente had to come from behind when Tim Matavz put FC Groningen ahead, but Marc Janko - who missed a penalty - hit a brace to ensure they kept pace with the leaders.
Ajax had earlier missed a golden chance to close the gap on PSV to just a point as they were comprehensively beaten 3-0 at FC Utrecht.
A win for Frank de Boer's men would have been just the tonic they needed as speculation over striker Luis Suarez's future intensifies, but the Amsterdam club fell horribly short.
A first-half brace from Edouard Duplan set the tone for Utrecht, with Ismo Vorstermans wrapping things up late on.
In Sunday's other game, Roda JC recorded a comfortable 3-0 win over Excelsior.