Patrick Bamford scored again, Sean Dyche turned incandescent with barely contained rage and much of the football was as crisp as the bitter yet bright weather.
A combination of debatable refereeing and VAR involvement lent an uncomfortably dyspeptic edge to a game of sometimes clever and always committed passing, movement and pressing that enabled Leeds to reach the 20-point milestone and left Burnley stuck on 13, too close to the relegation zone for comfort.
The margins separating the teams in an increasingly intriguing tactical contest were considerably tighter. “In the first half we could have had a bigger lead,” Marcelo Bielsa said. “But the way Burnley played in the second half prevented us from playing how I wanted and they could have equalised.
The Leeds manager had delivered a 41-minute Christmas Eve monologue explaining he did not, after all, place style above substance.
Evidently bruised by a 6-2 thrashing by Manchester United, he claimed his preferred swashbuckling mode represents the best way to win.
Compromise did not seem on the agenda but in a rare nod to pragmatism Bielsa compensated for a central-defensive injury crisis by switching to 3-5-1-1 with Kalvin Phillips dropping back into the sweeping role at the heart of a back three. It proved instrumental to the winning goal.