PSV Eindhoven had cranked up the pressure on their title rivals after a 4-2 victory over rock-bottom De Graafschap the previous day, which moved Phillip Cocu's men two points clear.
The Amsterdam club, though, looked to have produced the required response when they coasted into a comfortable lead at Parkstad Limburg Stadion through two goals in as many minutes midway through the first half. The first was a header by Arkadiusz Milik (27) after a corner and then a neat 20-yard finish from Anwar El Ghazi (29).
However, Rydell Poepon (35) reduced the deficit before the break.
The visitors offered little attacking threat in the second half and after former Ajax trainee Poepon went close to grabbing a late equaliser, substitute Maecky Ngombo nodded in from a corner during the second minute of added time to earn the hosts a share of the spoils as Frank de Boer's men were again left frustrated after a second successive draw.
Third-placed Feyenoord were beaten 2-0 at De Kuip by Den Haag, which was a fifth defeat in a row for Giovanni van Bronckhorst's men.
Things went from bad to worse for the hosts after midfielder Simon Gustafson saw his 28th-minute effort ruled out for what looked a poor offside decision, as Kevin Jansen (41) headed the away side in front.
Former West Bromwich Albion defender Gianni Zuiverloon (59), who started his career at the Rotterdam club, wrapped up the three points with a long-range effort, leaving Van Bronckhorst with plenty to contemplate ahead of this weekend's trip to Ajax.
Heerenveen secured a 1-0 victory at Cambuur in the Frisian derby with a goal from forward Arber Zeneli (48) early in the second half, which leaves Henk de Jong's men just two points ahead of De Graafschap and still without a win in 2016.
The day's final Eredivisie match saw strugglers FC Twente return to winning ways with a 3-1 victory over Utrecht at De Grolsch Veste.
The hosts, out to avoid a third straight loss, took command after two goals in the first eight minutes from defender Bruno Uvini and Zakaria El Azzouzi, with midfielder Felipe Gutierrez adding a third before half-time.
Ruud Boymans netted a late consolation for Utrecht, who were beaten at Roda in midweek which was a first defeat in six matches.