Ajax's run towards the Eredivisie title was checked as they were held to a goalless draw at NAC Breda, while the chasing FC Twente and Feyenoord both won.
The Amsterdammers failed to break down a NAC side that has not won in five league games.
Ajax's lead therefore remained at seven points, with Twente joining Vitesse Arnhem as their closest rivals following a 2-1 win at home to AZ Alkmaar.
Twente did it the hard way as they fell behind to Steven Berghuis' 40th-minute goal.
Substitute Youness Mokhtar levelled on 69 minutes before Dusan Tadic struck the winner in injury time.
Feyenoord were less troubled as goals from Ruud Vormer (49) and Lex Immers (64) secured a 2-0 triumph at home to Heerenveen.
Zwolle are three points clear in the race for the final Europa league play-off place after beating Go Ahead Eagles 2-0.
Jesper Drost (45) and Guyon Fernandez (90) got the goals to end Zwolle's five-game winless run.
NEC Nijmegen's 2-2 draw with FC Utrecht was enough to lift them off the foot of the table.
The hosts twice came from behind for their precious point with Michael Higdon (24) and Jakob Jantscher (60) cancelling out goals from Dave Bulthuis (22) and Jens Toornstra (45).
Second-placed Vitesse Arnhem lost ground in the title race on Saturday as they went down 2-1 at home to PSV Eindhoven, who climbed to third in the standings as a result.
With leaders Ajax not in action until they visit NAC Breda on Sunday, Vitesse had the chance to reduce the Amsterdammers' advantage to three points.
But they found themselves trailing to Jurgen Locadia's seventh-minute strike and, although Zakaria Labyad equalised in the 18th minute, Memphis Depay put PSV ahead again before the half-hour mark and that was how it remained.
Elsewhere on Saturday, Heracles Almelo lifted themselves clear of the relegation zone - and to the brink of the final Europa League play-off berth - with a 2-1 home win over Roda JC.
Bryan Linssen netted towards the end of each half to turn the game in Heracles' favour after Guus Hupperts' 14th-minute opener had put the basement boys ahead.
ADO Den Haag also enjoyed a 2-1 home victory - at the expense of 10-man FC Groningen.
Roland Alberg's 63rd-minute penalty put ADO in the ascendancy after Eric Botteghin's red card and, although Richairo Zivkovic restored parity 12 minutes from time, Dion Malone grabbed a late winner to give the hosts breathing space in their battle for survival.
On Friday night, struggling RKC Waalwijk suffered a 3-2 defeat away to Cambuur Leeuwarden.
The struggling visitors twice came from behind, Damiano Schet and Jean-David Beauguel with equalisers after first Bob Schepers and then Martijn Barto gave Cambuur the lead.
But the home side would not be denied and Elvis Manu netted an 85th-minute winner to lift them above NAC Breda and FC Groningen in the table, pending both teams' matches over the weekend.