Patrick Bamford returned to Barnfield and left with the match ball as his hat-trick helped Leeds United end the Clarets’ eight-match unbeaten run and go to the top of the Professional Development League’s northern section.
Bamford – who started the 2016/17 season on loan with the Clarets – marked his return from injury with the visitors’ opening goal and the last two as a strong Leeds side finally over-powered Steve Stone's men.
Half-a-dozen of the Leeds side boasted first-team experience, while on-loan Chelsea forward Izzy Brown also stepped up his return from injury with a goal-scoring performance.
A more youthful Clarets’ side competed well for more than an hour and having led 2-1 at the break restored their lead to go 3-2 up five minutes into the second half.
But Leeds quickly levelled through on-loan Chelsea midfielder Lewis Baker before adding three more goals in the last half hour.
Burnley, who knew a point would take them above Birmingham City and into top spot, started well and led when Rob Harker did well to create a chance for Tinashe Chakwana to tap in and continue his prolific season.
Bamford, who had wasted one early chance, then levelled when he was released to clip the ball past Tom Heaton, who played as an over-age player to get some game time under his belt.
Harker (above) had a header saved as Burnley hit back and the big striker continued his impressive afternoon’s work on his first start of the season when he pulled the ball back for Dan Agyei to ram home the Clarets’ second and restore the lead.
Impressive Leeds substitute Jack Clarke - who helped turn the tide United's way - made it 2-2 with a fine run and finish four minutes after the break but the Clarets responded again as Harker pounced immediately to get the goal he deserved.
Chakwana’s shot – after he had been released by hard-working skipper Josh Benson – was parried onto the bar by Leeds keeper Will Huffer and Harker reacted quickest to hook home the loose ball.
That never looked like being the end of the goals, however, and it was 3-3 with 52 minutes gone when Baker – who spent last season on loan at Middlesbrough and has made 10 Championship appearances for the promotion-chasing Yorkshiremen this season – slotted home.
Chakwana then had a shot saved but Leeds went in front for the first time when former England under-20 international Brown converted a low cross from lively left-back Clarke Oduor.
Heaton did his best to stem the flow with outstanding stops to deny Bamford and Connor Shaughnessy.
But the Clarets’ club captain was powerless to prevent Bamford wrapping up the points with his late double.
The former Middlesbrough man converted another cross from Oduor and then, after hitting a post, completed his hat-trick five minutes from time with another close-range finish from Clarke’s delivery to take Leeds into pole position in the title race.
Burnley: Heaton, Cropper, Cook, Glennon, Koiki, Agyei (Trialist 60), Howarth (Blair 72), Benson, Bayode, Chakwana, Harker. Substitutes: McMahon, Woods, Younger.
Leeds United: Huffer, Gotts, Shaughnessy, Davis (Halme HT), Oduor, Stevens, Baker (McCalmont 67), Nicell, Harrison (Clarke HT), Brown, Bamford. Substitutes: Rae, Struijk.
Referee: Steve Copeland