A passionate Elland Road performance earned Leeds a point to lift them off the foot of the table, as Chelsea clung on to top spot.
Jermaine Pennant's wonder goal was cancelled out by Damien Duff's 70th minute equaliser for the below-par Londoners.
With David Batty injuring an ankle in training, he'll be missing for at least a couple of weeks, caretaker-manager Eddie Gray brought in Stephen McPhail for his first game since returning from three months on loan at Nottingham Forest and his first Leeds start for a year.
Chelsea manager Claudio Ranieri made seven changes to the team that knocked Reading out of the Carling Cup on Wednesday.
The only survivors from were John Terry, Joe Cole, Frank Lampard and Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink.
The Whites goal came in the 18th minute. Winning the ball off Claude Makelele on the right, Pennant sprinted away from Wayne Bridge into the box and cleverly cut inside William Gallas before tucking home a left-foot shot from close in. He became the first player to overcome Chelsea's defence for 10 hours and 53 minutes.
It was also Pennant's first goal for Leeds since arriving on loan from Arsenal in August. Leeds came close to doubling their lead in the 39th minute, when Gary Kelly found Mark Viduka, who turned Terry and set up McPhail for a first-time effort that grazed the woodwork.
Hasselbaink created excellent chances which Cole and Lampard spurned for Chelsea, but Leeds looked anything but a side struggling at the wrong end of the table as they packed their midfield to telling effect, just as they had done at Charlton a week earlier.
Dominic Matteo was particularly impressive as he stifled the threat of Makelele.
Leeds played with a passion that had been lacking from most of their home performances this season, stirring memories of the blood and thunder clashes between these sides in the 60's and 70's.
Chelsea replaced Cole with Hernan Crespo for the second half and Leeds somehow survived when keeper Paul Robinson parried Adrian Mutu's shot, Lucas Radebe blocked Crespo's follow-up and Damien Duff's attempt was charged down by Matteo.
However, Chelsea's pressure paid off with the equaliser after 70 minutes when Robinson had palmed away a close-range Mutu drive, only to see Duff scuff the rebound into the net.