The visitors drew first blood thanks to a fierce long-range effort from William Faulkner in the second minute, but the Blues equalised through Niall Quinn's free-kick in the 11th minute on Saturday.
Four minutes before the break Michael Carville displayed some neat footwork to round Ards keeper Graeme McKibben to put the hosts into the lead, and soon after the break Matthew Tipton added a third from the penalty spot.
Ben Roy gave his side hope with a close-range finish in the 65th minute, but a second free kick from Quinn made it 4-2, five minutes later before Kyle McVey completed the scoring with a firm header from a Linfield corner to seal his side's ninth win of the season.
Second-placed Crusaders kept pace with David Jeffrey's side after securing a hard-fought 1-0 victory over Portadown at Shamrock Park.
In poor conditions Timmy Adamson netted the only goal of the game in the 48th minute when he diverted Colin Coates' low cross past David Miskelly.
Following the game at Solitude defending champions Cliftonville were left without a win in their last three games after they were held to a 2-2 draw by Dungannon Swifts.
Liam Boyce's drilled strike put the Reds ahead three minutes before half time, but Dungannon hit back with a smashing volley from Darren Boyce, which went in off the underside of the bar.
Chris Lavery's low strike in the 84th minute looked to have sealed the points for the visitors, but Joe Gormley converted a cross from Boyce in the final minute to secure a third successive draw for Tommy Breslin's side.
At the Ballymena Showgrounds, Glentoran made it five games without defeat after edging a seven-goal thriller against Ballymena United.
Allan Teggart opened the scoring for the hosts in the 23rd minute when he fired home after good work by David Cushley, but the Glens struck back in the 38th minute when Jordan Stewart swept a loose ball into the bottom corner.
A close-range finish from Jim O'Hanlon after a Marcus Kane flick-on put the visitors into the lead four minutes after the break, and three minutes later a brilliant free kick from Marcus Kane made it 3-1 to Eddie Patterson's side.
Gary Liggett pulled one back for the hosts with a 65th minute header, but two minutes later Stewart bagged his second, showing a great turn of pace to get onto the end of a long ball from Jimmy Callacher before slipping the ball past Stuart Addis in the Ballymena goal.
Teggart netted his second of the game in the final minute to make it 4-3, but it was merely a consolation for the Sky Blues, who fell to their eighth league defeat of the campaign.
Elsewhere Coleraine scored two goals in the final ten minutes as they came from behind to claim only their fourth win of the campaign with a 3-2 victory over Glenavon at the Coleraine Showgrounds.
Derry GAA star Eoin Bradley was the architect of the Bannsiders opening goal, setting up Gareth Tommins to round Glenavon keeper John Connolly.
It wasn't until the 74th minute that the game sprang back into life, with Ciaran Martyn firing in from a Mark Patton pass before adding a second five minutes later following some neat build-up play from the Lurgan Blues.
That sparked a frantic finish to the game, with Bradley rising to nod in the equaliser a minute later before Stephen Carson's goal in injury time sealed the win for Coleraine.
Finally Warrenpoint Town remain second from bottom after they drew 2-2 with Ballinamallard at Stangmore Park.
Darren King headed the opener in the 18th minute, but Jason McCartney fired in the equaliser on the rebound after Stuart Hutchinson's initial effort had been saved by Fergal Hughes.
Hutchinson's superb curled effort made it 2-1 to the visitors in the 62nd minute, but 11 minutes later a Stephen Hughes penalty ensured a share of the spoils.
Results in full:
Ballymena Utd 3-4 Glentoran
Ballymena Utd: Teggart 23, 90, Liggett 65.
Glentoran: Stewart 38, 67, O'Hanlon 49, Kane 52.
Cliftonville 2-2 Dungannon Swifts
Cliftonville: L Boyce 42, Gormley 90.
Dungannon Swifts: D Boyce 53, C Lavery 84.
Coleraine 3-2 Glenavon
Coleraine: Tommons 24, Bradley 80, Carson 90+1.
Glenavon: Martyn 74, 79.
Linfield 5-2 Ards
Linfield: Quinn 11 & 70, Carvill 41, Tipton 50 (PEN), McVey 80.
Ards: Faulkner 2, Roy 65.
Portadown 0-1 Crusaders
Crusaders: Adamson 48.
Warrenpoint Town 2-2 Ballinamallard Utd
Warrenpoint Town: King 18, Hughes 73 (PEN).
Ballinamallard Utd: McCartney 50, Hutchinson 62.