The hosts dominated the first half of the contest and raced into a two-goal lead courtesy of loanee Alfred N'Diaye and Helder Costa - the latter scoring his first in 15 - but a resurgent Hoops pulled one back early in the second period through Conor Washington.
Ian Holloway's side were just one of four teams to have defeated the league leaders this season prior to today's game, but there was to be no repeat of that feat today as Nuno Espirito Santo's charges held firm to claim their revenge and move 13 points clear of second-placed Derby County in the standings.
The Rams, meanwhile, were held to a 1-1 draw at home to Norwich City - James Maddison's second-half penalty for the Canaries cancelling out Matej Vydra's early strike, his 17th of the campaign to date. Gary Rowett's side did extend their unbeaten run to 12 league games - their best form in 20 years - but are now at the risk of dropping out of the automatic promotion places when third-placed Aston Villa host Birmingham City tomorrow afternoon.
At the other end of the table, Sunderland completed a remarkable late comeback at playoff-chasing Bristol City to claim a vital point in their battle for Championship survival. The Robins had raced into a three-goal lead by the break courtesy of a close-range strike from Aden Flint and a Famara Diedhiou brace - a scoreline that saw many travelling Black Cats fans head for the turnstiles before the second half.
Josh Brownhill gave the visitors a faint lifeline with 20 minutes of the contest remaining when he diverted into his own net, Aiden McGeady soon following it up with his own strike to ensure a nervy finish. The comeback was complete two minutes into stoppage time when Marlon Pack turned into his own net.
Despite the point, Chris Coleman's side remain one from bottom in the table and one point further from safety than they were at the start of the day after Hull City claimed a surprise 2-0 win at Nottingham Forest courtesy of goals from Jon Toral and Liverpool loanee Harry Wilson. The Tigers are now out of the bottom three and up to 21st, while managerless Barnsley drop into the relegation zone after being held at home by Sheffield Wednesday in an early kickoff.
Bolton Wanderers picked up a point from their home fixture with Fulham to keep their heads above the relegation zone, Adam Le Fondre with his first goal since the opening day of the season cancelling out Southampton loanee Matt Targett's early strike for the Cottagers. Fulham stay put in fifth place in the table, with Bristol City in sixth after their result against Sunderland.
Middlesbrough were the day's biggest movers, a 2-1 win over Reading seeing the side cut the gap on the top six to just four points. Tony Pulis's side had a two-goal advantage courtesy of strikes from Adama Traore either side of the break, with Chris Martin's late goal proving a mere consolation for a Royals side that now find themselves just four points above the drop.
Elsewhere, a dull affair at Portman Road saw Ipswich Town held to a goalless draw by basement side Burton Albion. Nigel Clough's side are now four points from safety, while the Tractor Boys stay put in 12th place, eight points off the playoff places.
Championship results in full: Barnsley 1-1 Sheffield Wednesday, Bolton Wanderers 1-1 Fulham, Brentford 1-1 Preston North End, Bristol City 3-3 Sunderland, Derby County 1-1 Norwich City, Ipswich Town 0-0 Burton Albion, Middlesbrough 2-1 Reading, Nottingham Forest 0-2 Hull City, Sheffield United 2-1 Leeds United, Wolverhampton Wanderers 2-1 Queens Park Rangers