League leaders PSV Eindhoven overcame an early setback to overpower Volendam with four goals in the second half and maintain their unbeaten record in the Eredivisie.
The team lying 17th went ahead after 70 seconds when George Cox’s cutback was turned into his own net by Jordan Teze.
Ismael Saibari tucked a low shot inside the left-hand post to equalise in the 13th minute, but it took until the second half for PSV to break down Volendam’s defence again when an unmarked Jordy Schouten hooked in a shot from point-blank range.
Teze made amends for his early error with the third goal after 74 minutes before substitute Ricardo Pepi and Isaac Babadi glossed the scoreline.
Feyenoord stay 10 points behind in second place following a workmanlike win over city rivals Sparta.
David Hancko, taking over penalty duties from the injured Santiago Giménez, dispatched a spot-kick early in the second half, before Lutsharel Geertruida volleyed in a looping cross for the second.
Ajax missed the chance to overtake AZ Alkmaar in fourth place as they lost 3-2 in Heerenveen.
Pelle van Amersfoort opened the scoring for Heerenveen with an 11th-minute header and profited from some chaotic defending at the start of the second half to put the Frisians 3-0 ahead, after Osame Sahraoui had smacked in a rebound shortly before the interval.
An own goal by Pawel Bochniewicz reduced the deficit before substitute Chupa Akpom pounced in a crowded penalty area to make the score 3-2, but Ajax were denied an equaliser in injury time when the VAR panel decided Sven van Beek had cleared the ball off the goal-line with millimetres to spare.
AZ are still seeking their first win under Belgian coach Maarten Martens as they drew 0-0 in Almere, allowing Twente to open up a nine-point margin in third place.
The team from Enschede wrapped up the points at Excelsior in the first 12 minutes with two goals by veteran striker Ricky van Wolfswinkel and one from Daan Rots.
The IJsselderby between Go Ahead Eagles and PEC Zwolle ended all square in a match bookended by two penalties.
Oliver Edvardsen saw his first effort for Go Ahead saved by Jasper Schendelaar after the goalkeeper had brought him down. Lennart Thy looked to have snatched the points for PEC with a clipped shot after slipping two markers, but in the ninth minute of injury time Mats Deijl levelled from the spot after PEC defender Sam Kersten elbowed the ball.
Utrecht moved up to 10th place and extended their unbeaten run to 13 matches, equalling a club record, with a 4-0 home win over Fortuna Sittard. Taylor Booth scored twice for Utrecht, with three of the goals coming in a nine-minute spell in the second half.
RKC celebrated the start of Carnaval weekend with their first win in 13 matches against NEC to open up a six-point gap over the bottom two sides, Volendam and Vitesse.
The latter were leading 2-1 at Heracles when captain Nicolas Isimat-Mirin was sent off for a second booking just before half-time. Heracles came back to win 3-2 in the second half as Jizz Hornkamp twice hit the mark.
RKC Waalwijk 2-0 NEC Nijmegen
Almere City 0-0 AZ Alkmaar
Excelsior 0-3 Twente Enschede
Heracles 3-2 Vitesse Anhem
Feyenoord 2-0 Sparta Rotterdam
Go Ahead Eagles 1-1 PEC Zwolle
Heerenveen 3-2 Ajax
Utrecht 4-0 Fortuna Sittard
Volendam 1-5 PSV Eindhoven
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