Feyenoord extended their winning streak in the Eredivisie to eight matches as they eased past RKC Waalwijk to preserve their eight-point lead.
Arie Slot’s side needed a stroke of luck to force the breakthrough, as Mats Wieffer’s shot clipped a defender’s heel on the way in.
Igor Paixão tapped in the second after Santiago Gímenez’s shot rebounded off the post, after which the Rotterdammers took full control, with the outstanding Gímenez scoring the fifth just after the hour mark. Julen Lobete pulled back a consolation for RKC.
PSV also won by a four-goal margin, but made much heavier weather of overcoming relegation-threatened Excelsior despite going ahead in the 12th minute through Luuk de Jong.
The second goal came after 78 minutes from Xavi Simons, who then provided the outstanding moment of the game when a dink from the outside of his right boot was nodded in by Fabio Silva.
Ajax brushed aside Fortuna Sittard to stay level on points with PSV in second place. Steven Berghuis struck twice in the first half and set up Steven Bergwijn to drill home a third shortly after half-time, before Kenneth Taylor slotted home five minutes before the end.
Sparta win in Alkmaar
AZ’s fading hopes of a title challenge were snuffed out as Sparta won 1-0 in Alkmaar. The winning goal came on the stroke of half-time as Koki Saito outfoxed his marker Sam Beukema on the left wing before setting up Tobias Lauritsen to head home from close range.
Cambuur look increasingly doomed after going down 4-0 to FC Twente, who were three up by half-time, including a first goal in almost a year for attacking midfielder Michel Vlap.
Groningen suffered their sixth straight defeat at home to Utrecht in a match that saw four players taken off with injuries before half-time. Utrecht defender Ramon Hendriks, on loan from Feyenoord, appeared to suffer a twisted knee, just a month after returning to action from a cruciate ligament injury.
Vitesse Arnhem pulled away from the drop zone with their first win in nine matches, as goals by Maximilian Wittek and Mohamed Santoh were enough to see off Go Ahead Eagles.
Emmen were the only team in the bottom five to pick up points with a 0-0 draw against NEC, while Volendam are still in danger after going down in Heerenveen to a double strike by in-form striker Sydney van Hooijdonk.
Groningen 1-2 Utrecht
AZ 0-1 Sparta Rotterdam
Heerenveen 2-1 Volendam
PSV 4-0 Excelsior
Vitesse Arnhem 2-0 Go Ahead Eagles
Ajax 4-0 Fortuna Sittard
Emmen 0-0 NEC Nijmegen
Feyenoord 5-1 RKC Waalwijk
Twente Enschede 4-0 Cambuur Leeuwarden
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