By ESPNSTAR.com staff
Four days after they fell to a stunning 3-2 defeat to Army United in the quarter-finals of the FA Cup, Muangthong took just 15 minutes to open the scoring when Brazilian striker Paulo Rangel found the back of the net.
Nonetheless, Esan showed plenty of grit and were difficult to break down at the back, although the hosts' pressure eventually paid off in the final ten minutes, when they added goals from Datsakorn Thonglao and Rangel to wrap up the win.
The result means the Twin Qilins remain 13 points clear at the top of the table, after Chonburi matched their victory by beating BBCU 4-1 at the Chonburi Stadium.
The Pink Panthers, who now look destined for relegation, got off to an awful start when they were reduced to ten men in the 13th minute after Ekkaraj Ruksa received his marching orders, but despite the numerical advantage, the hosts struggled to find the breakthrough until Nurul Sriyankem netted in the 56th minute.
BBCU equalised five minutes after the hour mark when Junior Aparecido converted a penalty but just a minute later, they had another men sent off when South Korean midfielder Cho Kwang-hoon picked up his second booking.
Two minutes later, Phanuwant Jinta scored to help the Sharks reclaim their lead and from that point on, there was only ever going to be one winner, with veterans Pipob On-mo and Therdsak Chaiman weighing in further strikes in the last seven minutes of the match.
Thai Port gave their chances of avoiding the drop a real boost after coming from behind to beat bottom-placed TTM Chiangmai 5-2 at the 700th Anniversary Stadium.
Brazilian striker Leonardo Ferreira fired the hosts in front in the 16th minute, but goals from Steven Robb and Kiatjarern Ruangpan ensured Port headed into the break ahead.
Five minutes into the second half, Ferreira doubled his tally to pull Chiangmai level, although 11 minutes later, Sarawut Kongcharoen made it 3-2 to the visitors.
Swedish midfielder Olof Hviden-Watson then all but ended the contest by scoring in the 74th minute, before Ri Myong-jun added a fifth for good measure.
Finally, high-flying TOT moved up to fifth with a 3-1 triumph over Pattaya United.
Pattaya were leading at the break courtesy of Kengne Ludovick's 19th-minute opener but TOT eventually equalised through Wichan Nantasri in the 68th minute, before going on to grab the maximum points thanks to a well-taken brace from Ekkachai Ritthipan.
Saturday's Thai Premier League Results
Chonburi 4-1 BBCU
Muangthong United 3-0 Esan United
Pattaya United 1-3 TOT
TTM Chiangmai 2-5 Thai Port