Match ends, Leeds United 1, Preston North End 1.
Leeds United scored an 89th-minute equaliser to draw with Preston at Elland Road and stay three points off the Championship lead.
Alan Browne had given North End a first-half advantage, but Leeds' late pressure finally told when Stuart Dallas' shot from just outside the box went in via a deflection.
West Bromwich Albion's 1-1 draw at Barnsley earlier on Boxing Day had given Leeds the opportunity to narrow the gap at the top of the table, but Marcelo Bielsa's side were unable to take full advantage.
That was largely down to Preston's excellent start, limiting Leeds to few chances and taking the lead with an expertly taken goal on the counter attack.
The move was started by Sean Maguire's tackle on Mateusz Klich near to his own penalty area.
From there, North End worked the ball forward quickly and Republic of Ireland midfielder Browne confidently finished left-footed past Kiko Casilla from 12 yards.
That put Leeds behind in a league match at Elland Road for only the second time this season and, without injured forward Pablo Hernandez, the hosts struggled to create clear chances until the midway point of the second half.
Left-back Ezgjan Alioski hit the post with a powerful low drive from the edge of the area and sliced a shot over the bar after a cross had broken to him in the box, while Preston goalkeeper Declan Rudd made stunning saves to keep out headers from Alioski and substitute Eddie Nketiah.
Alex Neil's Preston have followed a four-match losing sequence by taking eight points during a run of four games without defeat.
They are sixth in the table, although they would have gone third had Dallas not struck in the closing minutes.
Leeds, who won seven successive games in November and December, have picked up only two points from their past three fixtures and, after a trip to Birmingham City on Sunday, they face West Brom at The Hawthorns on 1 January.
Leeds boss Marcelo Bielsa:
"I was not happy with the first 20 minutes, it was not a good spell for us, we did not cope with their pressing and did not get into our game. I felt we took control after their goal.
"It was a better display from then and we controlled 75% of the game. We had enough chances to win the game towards the end and we probably should have won it.
"I admire Preston for how they got at us in the first quarter of the game. They worked very hard to put us under pressure and close us down. We struggled to move the ball today.
"We had to move it sideways a lot and when we lost the ball going across the line it created problems for ourselves."
Preston boss Alex Neil:
"It took a deflected effort for them to get something from the game. Naturally we are disappointed not to win but I am proud of my players," he said.
"They are one of the top sides in this division and we more than matched them.
"I can't ask for any more from the players. They played really well and I felt we did enough to win the game."
- 23PhillipsBooked at 73mins
- 17Hélder Costa
- 15DallasBooked at 80mins
- 43KlichBooked at 80mins
- 9BamfordSubstituted forNketiahat 64'minutes
- 5ClarkeBooked at 80mins
- 23HuntingtonBooked at 72mins
- 4PearsonBooked at 68mins
- 24MaguireSubstituted forStockleyat 90+4'minutes
- 29BarkhuizenSubstituted forHarropat 90'minutes
- 35NugentSubstituted forLedsonat 69'minutesBooked at 75mins
- Darren Bond
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Leeds United 1, Preston North End 1.
Attempt missed. Paul Huntington (Preston North End) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Alan Browne with a cross following a corner.
Corner, Preston North End. Conceded by Kalvin Phillips.
Substitution, Preston North End. Jayden Stockley replaces Sean Maguire.
Hélder Costa (Leeds United) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Andrew Hughes (Preston North End).
Attempt missed. Hélder Costa (Leeds United) left footed shot from the centre of the box misses to the right.
Attempt blocked. Jack Harrison (Leeds United) left footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Hélder Costa with a headed pass.
Substitution, Preston North End. Josh Harrop replaces Tom Barkhuizen.
Goal! Leeds United 1, Preston North End 1. Stuart Dallas (Leeds United) right footed shot from outside the box to the top right corner. Assisted by Luke Ayling.
Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Brad Potts.
Attempt saved. Ezgjan Alioski (Leeds United) header from the left side of the six yard box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Kalvin Phillips with a cross.
Corner, Leeds United. Conceded by Ben Pearson.
Attempt blocked. Mateusz Klich (Leeds United) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Stuart Dallas (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card.
Tom Clarke (Preston North End) is shown the yellow card.
Mateusz Klich (Leeds United) is shown the yellow card.
Foul by Mateusz Klich (Leeds United).
Ryan Ledson (Preston North End) wins a free kick in the attacking half.