Three goals in 19 second-half minutes gave Feyenoord a 3-0 win at bottom side De Graafschap that keeps them on the fringes of the title race.
They will not have been buoyed to see leaders AZ Alkmaar scrape a 1-0 win over RKC Waalwijk but, thanks to goals from John Guidetti, Ruben Schaken and Sekou Cisse are five points behind the top-ranked side heading into the business end of the season.
The picture is far less prosperous for the Superboeren.
With 27 games now played they have just 16 points to their name, 14 short of the current safety mark.
They could have no complaints about Sunday's reverse, fashioning just two chances throughout an afternoon that saw Ronald Koeman`s men flex their muscles ahead of the run-in.
They stated their intent early on with Guidetti's volley being well saved by Yves De Winter.
Otman Bakkal's header then nipped over after a good run and cross from Karim El Ahmadi, while Bakkal again went close when De Winter got behind his header.
It was all Feyenoord and El Ahmadi should have done better when through on goal, driving against De Winter when it appeared easier to score.
De Graafschap had their first opportunity in first-half injury-time when Jan-Paul Saeijs had a volley blocked, but they could not continue the momentum into the second half.
Bakkal played in Cisse who had a strike cleared by Saeijs, while the impressive Bakkal also had a shot cleared.
Guidetti and Schaken linked up to allow the former a chance which he was unable to take but, with 19 minutes left, the deadlock was broken when Guidetti took in Ron Vlaar's ball and finished well from inside the area.
The home side briefly threatened a response when Rydell Poepon's hit cannoned around in the box, but the game was put to bed with 77 minutes on the clock when Shacken tucked in to an open goal after De Winter had saved from El Ahmadi on the counter-attack.
There was still time for Guidetti to miss another golden chance, this time a one-on-one, before Cisse did make it three in time added on when he headed in a Schaken cross.