Danny Wilson made an encouraging start to his second spell in charge of Barnsley as the Tykes kept only their second clean sheet of the season.
Leeds had a numerical advantage from the 84th minute when striker Marcus Tudgay was shown a straight red card for a dangerous tackle on Marius Zaliukas.
Wilson managed Barnsley into the Premiership in 1997 but his immediate priority is to steer them clear of the Championship’s basement. On the evidence of this goalless but combative Yorkshire derby, he has every chance of succeeding.
Keen to impress their new boss, Barnsley chased and harried Leeds out of their stride, denying them space and time.
Leeds manager Brian McDermott has a reputation for seeing his teams improve as the season progresses, which is some consolation after a below-par display.
Leeds had won only one of their last six matches against the Tykes but striker Matt Smith should have scored twice in the opening 12 minutes. Jason Pearce launched the ball forward from inside his own half to Smith who chested it down and shot, only to see Jack Butland pull off a point blank save.
When Smith was clean through again he could only prod the ball tamely at Butland.
Wilson adopted a 4-1-4-1 system, with Jacob Mellis making runs from just in front of the back four and Tudgay alone up front in the absence of top scorer Chris O’Grady with a calf strain.
Barnsley stepped up the pace as the interval approached and Leeds keeper Paddy Kenny watched Bobby Hassell’s dipping 30-yard half-volley drift just wide before tipping over Tudgay’s header from Hassell’s free-kick.
Tudgay should have scored after holding off a weak challenge from Zaliukas but somehow he poked the ball wide of the left post with Leeds’ defence in disarray.
McDermott made a double substitution at the start of the second half, replacing Lee Peltier and Alex Mowatt with Sam Byram and Michael Tonge.
Midfielder Tonge received a yellow card almost immediately and then tested Butland with a low drive from distance.
Leeds needed to improve their supply to leading scorer Ross McCormack but when the Scot eventually had a chance from 15 yards he shot straight at Butland.
Wilson made two substitutions of his own, sending on Stephen Dawson and Kelvin Etuhu in place of Hassell and Thomas Cywka, but the game was disjointed with referee Keith Stroud’s whistle never far from his lips.
By the finish he had collected the names of Leeds quartet Luke Murphy, Mowatt, Tonge and Smith, along with Barnsley’s Mellis, O’Brien and Butland, to add to Tudgay’s dismissal.
Stroud added six minutes to reflect the high number of stoppages but neither side could force a breakthrough.