Feyenoord recorded a 2-0 win over their opponents from Arnhem at De Kuip.
The game kicked off with Vitesse in third place - a point ahead of Feyenoord - and with designs on leapfrogging PSV Eindhoven into second heading into the final three matches of the season.
But rather than close to within three points of leaders Ajax, Vitesse instead saw their title hopes suffer a huge setback as Feyenoord claimed all the points thanks to Graziano Pelle's 39th-minute penalty and a Lex Immers strike after 50 minutes.
Feyenoord replace Vitesse in third place, level on points with PSV and four behind Ajax.
VVV-Venlo's hopes of beating relegation took a hit as they spurned a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home to FC Twente.
Goals by Niels Roeseler (18) and Uche Nwofor (23) had the hosts in charge, but Twente hit back after the break with two goals in 60 seconds just before the hour from Rasmus Bengtsson and Luc Castaignos.
The draw takes VVV three points clear of Willem II in the scrap to avoid the one automatic relegation berth, and with just three games left they are now nine points from safety and as good as condemned to a place in the relegation play-offs at best.
PEC Zwolle have no such problems as they moved nine points clear of the relegation zone with a 3-1 win at NEC Nijmegen.
Goals by Youness Mokhtar (18) and Fred Benson (23) had PEC in charge, and although Leroy George (49) pulled one back for NEC, the points were safe when Mateusz Klich struck five minutes from the end.
FC Utrecht made sure of a top-six finish as they beat NAC Breda 3-0, Mike van der Hoorn (14), Jens Toornstra (18) and Edouard Duplan (74) with the goals.