Goalkeeper Bartosz Bialkowski was at fault for what proved to be the hosts’ winner in the 67th minute on Saturday afternoon, bundling Pablo Hernandez’s drilled corner into his own net under no apparent pressure.
That gave Leeds a 3-1 lead after Pierre-Michel Lasogga and Kalvin Phillips had netted in the first half either side of David McGoldrick’s equaliser.
Joe Garner pulled a goal back for Ipswich to give them hope heading into the latter stages, but Bialkowski’s gaffe proved to be the difference in the end as Leeds maintained their position at the top of the table.
Leeds were forced to dig deep to maintain their unbeaten home record this term, leaving head coach Christiansen delighted.
“It was an intense game that had everything,” he said. “During the 90 minutes, we were in front and immediately after the 1-1 goal we managed to score.
“Then in the second half we should keep the result, trying to control the game a little better, but we suffered at the end. The most important thing is we got the three points.”
Leeds face another test of their promotion credentials with a trip to third-placed Cardiff City on Tuesday night.
“A top team again, as it was today,” added Christiansen. “Ipswich were only two points away from us, so we knew it was a six-point game that we had to face today.
“The response was good and the result was better. We will have time to work on Cardiff, not too many days, but a few days will be enough.”
Ipswich boss Mick McCarthy refused to blame Bialkowski for his costly error.
“I can forgive Bartz,” said McCarthy. “He probably kept us in the league last season. He has been brilliant, so there are no recriminations there.”