Goals from Liam Cooper and a Tyler Roberts brace gave Leeds United the points at Elland Road.
Cooper headed the home side in front eight minutes before half-time, flicking Jack Harrison’s right-wing corner into the bottom left hand corner, in off the post. Roberts doubled the advantage with 16 minutes left, lofting the ball from the right-hand edge of the box into the bottom left hand corner and then added his second with eight minutes to go, heading home Samuel Saiz’s cross.
Manager Alex Neil was able to recall Alan Browne to the side after injury and he was one of two changes, reverting back to 4-2-3-1, with Josh Harrop also in the side in the No.10 role.
And the Lilywhites started brightly, creating the first opportunity, Callum Robinson collected the ball down the left, beat Pontus Jansson to it and raced to the edge of the box, before opening up and curling a shot that was heading towards the top right-hand corner until Bailey Peacock-Farrell got up acrobatically and tipped behind for a corner.
Just before the quarter hour mark North End had a let off when Harrison got the ball and split the PNE defence to find a run from deep for Mateusz Klich, but he slid the ball wide of the left-hand post when one-on-one with Declan Rudd.
The opener came on 37 minutes, as Harrison’s corner from the right was flicked goalwards by Whites skipper Cooper and Rudd got a hand to it, but it ricocheted up and past Daniel Johnson on the post and in to the bottom left corner.
And before the break there was a chance for 2-0 as Klich showed his pace to race through onto a ball from Harrison, but with Rudd coming out to close him down he lifted the ball up and over the bar.
Eleven minutes into the second half North End thought they were level as Darnell Fisher did brilliantly down the right, drove at the right-hand corner of the box, got into the area and arrowed a shot across goal. Callum Robinson was on hand at the back post to poke home, but the assistant referee’s flag went up for what must have been the narrowest of offsides.
With 18 minutes left Jack Harrison was inches away from doubling the lead as he collected Saiz’s through ball and was one-one-one. He drew Rudd and pushed the ball around him, but off the inside of the left-hand post to Ben Davies, who cleared.
But two minutes later it was two. The ball was played out from the back by the home side and fed down the right-hand side for Roberts to run forward, in behind the PNE backline, and he lofted the ball with the outside of his left foot over Rudd into the bottom left hand corner.
The third came eight minutes later as Saiz clipped over a cross from the right-hand side and Roberts was on hand to head back across goal into the top right hand corner.
Leeds United line-up: Peacock-Farrell, Ayling, Douglas, Cooper (c), Alioski, Roberts (Dallas, 85), Saiz (Baker, 90), Jansson, Harrison, Phillips, Klich (Forshaw, 85). Subs not used: Blackman, Pearce, Edmondson, J Clarke.
PNE line-up: Rudd, Fisher, Earl, Browne (Gallagher, 79), T Clarke (c), Davies, Barkhuizen, Johnson, Moult (Nmecha, 79), Harrop (Barker, 71), Robinson. Subs not used: Maxwell, Hughes, Burke, Huntington.
Attendance: 27,729 (288 PNE fans)
Referee: Mr G Eltringham