Ajax were frustrated by lowly Roda JC on Sunday as they failed to take advantage of PSV Eindhoven's draw 24 hours earlier.
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 Nijmegen were comfortable 3-0 winners at Utrecht, with Melvin Platje, Erik Falkenburg and Ruud Boymans all on target.
On Saturday, PSV had conceded a late equaliser to draw 2-2 with 10-man Vitesse.
Dick Advocaat's pace-setters looked on course for the win when Georgino Wijnaldum put them back in front in the 78th minute - seconds after Wilfried Bony's penalty had drawn Vitesse level - before seeing their opponents lose midfielder Theo Janssen to a straight red card five minutes later.
However, despite being a man down, Vitesse battled back once more and Bony's second goal of the evening with two minutes left drew the teams level again.
PSV, who had taken a 19th-minute lead through Dries Mertens' spot-kick, could not find a winner in the remaining time as they had to settle for a point.
At the other end of the table, rock-bottom Willem II fell further into the mire after losing 4-1 at Heracles.
Willem II were briefly on course for only their third win of the season after taking a sixth-minute lead through Niek Vossebelt, but Heracles hit back through goals from Dario Vujicevic (19 minutes), Thomas Bruns (26 and 61) and Lerin Duarte (44) to claim the win.
The Tilburg outfit are now three points adrift at the foot of the standings after second-bottom VVV-Venlo ended a run of four successive defeats with a 2-2 draw at Heerenveen.
It should have been more for VVV but they could not hold onto the 2-0 lead given to them through Uche Nwofor (36) and Marcel Seip (68) as Heerenveen fought back with goals from Lukas Marecek (69) and Alfred Finnbogason (90).
In Saturday's other two Eredivisie matches, ADO Den Haag and FC Groningen recorded 2-1 home wins over NAC Breda and RKC Waalwijk, respectively.
ADO wrapped up their match in an 18-minute second-half spell when Charlton Vicento (50) and Tjaronn Chery (68) scored either side of a red card for visiting defender Jens Janse, with the 10 men of NAC only able to net an 82nd-minute consolation through Rick Ten Voorde.
Groningen had to do it the hard way in their match after falling behind to a 24th-minute Robert Braber penalty, but a brace of spot-kicks from Genero Zeefuik in the 32nd and 69th minute - the latter after visiting midfielder Guy Ramos had been sent off 60 seconds after being introduced as a substitute - earned the home side the win.