LEEDS 2 (Becchio 51, Green 76), PALACE 1 (Ramage 85)
United: Kenny, Byram, Lees, Tate, Peltier, Thomas (Poleon 75, Brown 90), Green, Norris, Tonge, Diouf (McCormack 82), Becchio. Subs: Ashdown, White, Gray, Hall.
Crystal Palace: Speroni, Ramage, Ward (Wilbraham 90), Delaney, Dikgacoi, Bolasie (Easter 68), Jedinak, Parr, Murray, Garvan (Moritz 66), Zaha Subs: Gabbidon, Price, O'Keefe, Moxey.
Referee: D Coote
The game was the first since the club announced that Dubai-based GFH Capital would be taking over ownership in December, and fittingly it was against the division's leaders and in-form side.
Neil Warnock handed out two debuts with loan men Alan Tate and Jerome Thomas both coming straight into the starting line-up following their deadline day arrivals on Thursday.
United started the game brightly and after David Norris had an early attempt on goal, new man Thomas skinned his defender before drilling in a low cross which Damian Delaney had to clear.
Sam Byram also delivered a good cross, from the right, and Luciano Becchio's header was saved by Julian Speroni. The Palace goalkeeper was also called upon on 13 minutes to get down well to deny Norris for a second time. It was a dominant start by Leeds and Thomas was next to go close.
It took Palace the best part of 20 minutes to show themselves, and after good work by Wilfred Zaha, Owen Garvan forced Paddy Kenny into making a decent save. Damian Delaney also headed wide from a corner. Jonathan Parr and Glenn Murray were also thwarted for the visitors.
The first half was the most entertaining seen at Elland Road for some time with both sides looking to advance and attack and it was a keenly fought, enterprising contest. As the half came to a close, tempers flared after Zaha took a tumble in the box right on the whistle and penalty appeals were waved away.
United got off to a perfect start in the second half, though, when Luciano Becchio knocked the ball home. Lee Peltier delivered a cross from the left, Paul Green got up well at the far post to head down, and as Palace failed to clear, Becchio pounced to score.
As the game headed into the final 25 minutes, Michael Tonge went close to furthering the advantage when he curled a shot wide from the just outside of the box.
Thomas also had an appeal for a free-kick waved away when he showed great skill to weave his way to the edge of the box before hitting the floor. United were the more dominant and and Norris tried his luck after Palace failed to clear their lines.
But it was 2-0 with 14 minutes remaining when the ball fell to Green on theedge of the box and his first time shot left Speroni with no chance.
It was nearly game over moments later when Dominic Poleon and El-Hadji Diouf were almost rewarded for some great pressing as Speroni almost screwed a clearance into his own net.
But Palace pulled a goal back with five minutes remaining on the clock when Peter Ramage headed home a Kagisho Dikgacoi cross.
That gave Palace a glimmer of hope, and five minutes of added time ensured a tense finale. United had to defend a free-kick after Zaha had gone to ground again, and Tonge made a terrific late clearance off the goal line after the visitors applied some more pressure.