Both Gamba Osaka and FC Tokyo lost 1-0 at home to Kawasaki Frontale and Avispa Fukuoka respectively on Friday in the MEIJI YASUDA J1 League.
A lone Yoshito Okubo header saw Frontale defeat Gamba at Suita City Football Stadium and keep within two points of Urawa Reds, who defeated Nagoya Grampus 4-1 in their corresponding fixture.
Tokyo encountered yet another setback to their season when they fell to newly promoted Avispa, Wellington heading home right after the hour mark with an effort goalkeeper Yota Akimoto should have done better to keep out.
There were no such woes for the Reds, who had Yosuke Kashiwagi, Tadanari Lee, Shinzo Koroki and Yuki Muto who fired them to victory and top place in the table.
Jubilo Iwata inflicted more hurt on Sanfrecce Hiroshima - the champions having endured an irregular start to the season so far - as Taisuke Nakamura struck the only goal of a 1-0 win.