PSV Eindhoven missed the chance to move six points clear at the Eredivisie summit after conceding a late equaliser to draw 2-2 with 10-man Vitesse Arnhem on Saturday.
Dick Advocaat's pace-setters looked on course for the win when Georgino Wijnaldum put them back in front in the 78th minute - seconds after Wilfried Bony's penalty had drawn Vitesse level - before seeing their opponents lose midfielder Theo Janssen to a straight red card five minutes later.
However, despite being a man down, Vitesse battled back once more and Bony's second goal of the evening with two minutes left drew the teams level again.
PSV, who had taken a 19th-minute lead through Dries Mertens' spot-kick, could not find a winner in the remaining time as they had to settle for a point which leaves them four clear of second-placed Ajax who face Roda on Sunday.
At the other end of the table, rock-bottom Willem II fell further into the mire after losing 4-1 at Heracles.
Willem II were briefly on course for only their third win of the season after taking a sixth-minute lead through Niek Vossebelt, but Heracles hit back through goals from Dario Vujicevic (19 minutes), Thomas Bruns (26 and 61) and Lerin Duarte (44) to claim the win.
The Tilburg outfit are now three points adrift at the foot of the standings after second-bottom VVV-Venlo ended a run of four successive defeats with a 2-2 draw at Heerenveen.
It should have been more for VVV but they could not hold onto the 2-0 lead given to them through Uche Nwofor (36) and Marcel Seip (68) as Heerenveen fought back with goals from Lukas Marecek (69) and Alfred Finnbogason (90).
In Saturday's other two Eredivisie matches, ADO Den Haag and FC Groningen recorded 2-1 home wins over NAC Breda and RKC Waalwijk, respectively.
ADO wrapped up their match in an 18-minute second-half spell when Charlton Vicento (50) and Tjaronn Chery (68) scored either side of a red card for visiting defender Jens Janse, with the 10 men of NAC only able to net an 82nd-minute consolation through Rick Ten Voorde.
Groningen had to do it the hard way in their match after falling behind to a 24th-minute Robert Braber penalty, but a brace of spot-kicks from Genero Zeefuik in the 32nd and 69th minute - the latter after visiting midfielder Guy Ramos had been sent off 60 seconds after being introduced as a substitute - earned the home side the win.
French Ligue 1
In-form St Etienne stepped up their bid for Champions League football by casting aside Ligue 1 champions Montpellier 4-1 at a snowy Stade Geoffroy-Guichard.
First-half goals from Brandao and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang were followed by a third from Yohan Mollo three minutes after half-time.
Montpellier immediately pulled a goal back through Remy Cabella before the match was delayed for 30 minutes when the snow made conditions unplayable.
With fears the game could be called off the ASSE players helped clear the pitch and their efforts were rewarded after the resumption with a fourth goal, through Mathieu Bodmer, and a sixth successive win in all competitions.
Bordeaux, however, slipped out of the top five after slumping to a 1-0 defeat at improving Ajaccio.
A first-half strike from Ricardo Faty was enough to earn Ajaccio the spoils as Bordeaux suffered only their second defeat in 13 matches in all competitions.
Valentin Eysseric's late equaliser secured Nice a share of the spoils from a 1-1 draw with fellow Europa League hopefuls Lorient at the Stade Municipal du Ray.
Eysseric coolly slotted home eight minutes from time to cancel out Lucas Mareque's 75th-minute opener for the visitors.
The draw lifted Nice to fifth in the standings, with Lorient three points and three positions worse off.
Reims won away from home for the first time since returning to the top flight as Nancy's resurgence was halted with a 2-1 home defeat.
The Lorraine side had won their last two games and took the lead on Saturday through defender Sebastien Puygrenier on the half-hour mark.
But goals from Floyd Ayite and Odair Fortes in the second half turned the game around and Gaetan Courtet had a late third disallowed.
Brest remain just two points clear of the relegation zone after losing 2-1 to Valenciennes at the Stade du Hainaut.
First-half goals from Mathieu Dossevi and Rudy Mater were enough to secure a win that leaves VA 10th in the table.
Charlison Benschop hit the post for Brest in the second half but they had only Florian Raspentino's late goal for consolation.
Elsewhere, Troyes moved off bottom spot with a goalless draw against a Sochaux side who also remain in deep trouble in the battle to survive.
Portuguese Primeira Liga
Estoril moved ahead of opponents Guimaraes into sixth place in the Liga Sagres after an eventful 2-0 win on Saturday.
The hosts' cause was helped as early as the fifth minute with the dismissal of Guimaraes defender Alex, and Luis Leal took advantage with a 32nd-minute opener.
Carlitos made it two 20 minutes into the second half but Estoril too finished the game with 10 men, Steven Vitoria sent on his way in the 83rd minute.
Belgian Jupiler League
Jupiler Pro League high-fliers Lokeren and Zulte-Waregem shared the points on Saturday evening as Genk made up ground by beating Beerschot.
With leaders Anderlecht in action on Sunday there was a chance for the teams behind them to enjoy the limelight but a point each for their closest pursuers ultimately plays into the hands of the table-toppers.
Second-placed Zulte went ahead when Thorgan Hazard struck six minutes before the break, but half-time substitute Walter Balufo drew the third-placed hosts level eight minutes after his introduction.
Lokeren's failure to win meant Genk drew level on points with them thanks to a 2-0 away win at Beerschot, earned for them by a goal in each half from Jelle Vossen.
Club Brugge strengthened their hold on the sixth and final place in the championship play-offs with a 3-1 win over Leuven at Jan Breydel Stadion in a game that finished 10-a-side.
An eventful second half saw Leuven take the lead through Karel Geraerts before losing Kenny Thompson to a red card, a moment that sparked a complete turnaround.
Maxime Lestienne and Lior Rafaelov gave Club the lead and not even a sending-off of their own, that of Jim Larsen, could derail them as substitute Ivan Trickovski rounded off the win.
Kortrijk and Mechelen remained five points behind the top six after their respective wins over Gent and Cercle Brugge.
Brecht Dejaeghere scored the only goal for Kortrijk, five minutes after the dismissal of Gent's Rafinha, while goals from Seth De Witte and Mads Junker earned three points for Mechelen against the division's bottom side.
Charleroi held on with 10 men to beat struggling Lierse 1-0, Giuseppe Rossini scoring before being sent off.
Turkish Super Lig
Besiktas kept their Super Lig title bid on track with a 3-1 comeback victory at Elazigspor.
The triumph takes them to within two points of front-runners Galatasaray, who play on Sunday,
Ahmet Gork gave Elazigspor the lead after just five minutes but Filip Holosko (45), Ibrahim Toraman (56) and Manuel Fernandes (82) secured the away win.
Eskisehirspor took provisional control of fourth place after a 2-0 win at Genclerbirligi.
Angelo Diego scored in the 12th minute before the home side had Randall Azofeifa sent off five minutes from time and Necati Ates notched a late bonus.
Bursaspor also enjoyed success on the road, seeing off Karabukspor 3-0.
Tuncay Sanli, Michael Chretien and Pablo Batalla all scored in the second half before a late red card for Ahmet Ozek rubbed salt into Karabukspor's wounds.
Bottom club Akhisar Belediye registered only their fourth win of the season and moved within a point of nearest competitors Mersin Idmanyurdu thanks to a 2-0 victory at Istanbul Buyuksehir.
Greek striker Theofanis Gekas scored both goals.
Greek Super League
Substitute Mergim Brahimi needed just six minutes to make the decisive contribution for Super League leaders Grasshoppers in their 1-0 win at Servette on Saturday evening.
Brahimi was introduced as a 73rd-minute replacement for Amir Abrashi and netted the game's only goal 11 minutes from time to lift his side seven points clear of second-placed Basle.
In Saturday's other match in the Swiss top flight, Raphael Nuzzolo grabbed a last-gasp winner as 10-man Young Boys edged Lucerne 3-2.
Moreno Costanzo's first-half brace put the fifth-placed hosts in the ascendancy but Alain Nef's dismissal five minutes after the interval offered the visitors a route back into the game.
Landry Mouangue halved the deficit from the penalty spot and Alain Wiss restored parity in the 72nd minute, only for Nuzzolo to have the final word.