Leeds United had to settle for a share of the spoils as Thomas Christiansen’s Whites failed to break down ten-man Preston North End as part of a goalless draw at Elland Road.
Chances were few and far between in the opening 20 minutes but United’s Gianni Alioski then showed fine skill to cut in from the right flank to beat two men and fire just wide.
But Preston went even closer five minutes later when Thomas Barkhuizen’s clean hit from long range flew just wide of Felix Wiedwald’s right hand post.
Pablo Hernandez then wasted a good opening for Leeds when failing to play in Kemar Roofe and instead feeding Alioski who was offside.
But Preston then squandered another fine opportunity just after the half hour mark when referee Scott Duncan failed to award a foul on Pontus Jansson by Jordan Hugill on the byline.
Hugill was able to square the ball to Alan Browne who should have scored but Luke Ayling blocked at close range.
North End were then grateful to Paul Huntington for a crucial intervention on the stroke of half-time as Roofe looked to square the ball from the byline to Chris Wood who would have had a tap in.
Preston then squandered another good chance two minutes after the restart when Hugill scampered clear down the right flank and pulled the ball back to Browne whose low shot from ten yards was placed straight at Wiedwald.
Barkhuizen then fired wide from range before Tommy Spurr’s volley from the edge of the area was deflected wide.
Leeds were going nowhere and the Whites were relieved to see an offside flag when Greg Cunningham stabbed the ball lhome from a Johnson free-kick.
But Preston’s afternoon then took a huge turn for the worse just short of the hour mark when Ben Pearson - who had earlier been booked - was sent off for a second yellow card for hauling down Phillips.
Christiansen brought on Samuel Saiz and Ronaldo Vieira at the same time and Leeds began to create plenty of chances.
Wood twice narrowly failed to connect with good crosses from Cameron Borthwick-Jackson.
And Wood was then denied by a brilliant save from Chris Maxwell as the striker was released one on one by Hernandez only to see his low shot clawed away with Alioski then losing his footing when looking to bury the rebound.
After Wood narrowly failed to convert another Borthwick-Jackson crisis, Saiz then put a close range header straight at Maxwell from Vieira’s cross.
Maxwell then punched away a header from final Leeds substitute Stuart Dallas before acrobatically tipping away the rebound from Hernandez.
But Preston nearly left with all three points when a late cross from Johnson trickled all the way across United’s area, only needing a touch to be converted.
Leeds were given five minutes of added time to bag a winner but it was Preston who so nearly grabbed it in the 95th minute when a flowing counter attack ended with Josh Harrop hitting the crossbar.
Leeds United: Wiedwald, Ayling, Jansson, Cooper, Borthwick-Jackson (Dallas 82), Phillips (Vieira 60), O’Kane, Roofe (Saiz 60), Hernandez, Alioski, Wood. Subs not used: Peacock-Farrell, Anita, Shaughnessy, Ekuban.
Preston North End: Maxwell, Fisher, Huntington, Spurr, Cunningham, Pearson, Browne (Gallagher 90), Johnson, Barkhuizen (Harrop 68), Robinson, Hugill. Subs not used: Hudson, Vermijl, Davies, Horgan, Maguire.
Referee: Scott Duncan.