Burnley 1, Leeds United 0
The Clarets took the lead within the minute when March's Sky Bet Player of the Month Sam Vokes beat Sol Bamba in an aerial battle to flick on Tom Heaton's kick, Andre Gray held off his marker to feed Arfield inside the box and the midfielder fired left-footed across Marco Silvestri to find the bottom corner.
The visitors were always going to prove menacing from set-pieces with the presence of striker Chris Wood and skipper Bamba and that proved the case when Michael Keane's headed clearance dropped for the latter with the Ivorian defender volleying goalwards and drawing the save from Heaton.
United, who have little to play for in the Championship, played openly and were willing to break from their shape, allowing the hosts to pick out holes on the break.
Sean Dyche's side almost capitalised when George Boyd, stationed on the edge of his own penalty area, located Gray down the channel and the 23-goal striker cut infield, picked out the run of Matt Lowton but the defender was foiled by Silvestri after being forced wide by Liam Cooper.
The away side, reliant on hitting target man Woods, weren't able to play through Burnley's backline, forcing Luke Murphy to skew wide from distance in desperation.
The early breakthrough didn't have the uplifting effect as expected but the Clarets did almost extend their advantage with a carbon copy of Arfield's opener.
Gray and David Jones exerted the pressure, stealing possession from Toumani Diagouraga, the midfielder found Boyd inside the box and the winger stepped on the outside of full back Gaetano Berardi before pulling a low shot inches past the far upright.
The physicality of Wood was proving troublesome at times and the striker ended the half by rolling Joey Barton, opening up his body but shaping a left-footed effort wide of the post.
The home side lived dangerously after the interval and only Wood will know how he managed to squander a couple of headed opportunities from close range.
With the promotion race threatening to go down to the wire, Boro and Brighton fans must've jumped from their seats when the New Zealand striker peeled off Ben Mee to meet Charlie
Taylor's centre but the forward somehow managed to find the wrong side of the post.
The league leaders crafted an excellent opening to double their lead soon after when Stephen Ward's cross from the left was dummied by goalscorer Arfield but Gray's shot was blocked brilliantly by Cooper.
Mirco Antenucci, who netted at Elland Road on the opening day of the term, was introduced for United at the expense of Mustapha Carayol and with his first touch of the afternoon he touched wide of the near post when under pressure from Mee.
Then came the second of Wood's inexplicable misses. Again Taylor was the provider from the left, again Mee was the defender caught beneath the flight of the delivery and once more the striker missed the target with a free header from six yards out.
The game was crying out for change, though it unfortunately took an injury to Vokes for it to come. Ashley Barnes was the man to replace the Welsh international and he certainly made an impression.
Having sprung the counter, and finding Gray to his right, the substitute burst in to the box only to be foiled by Cooper who hooked clear with Barnes ready to pounce on the resulting cross.
The striker, who made his return from a lengthy absence in the draw against Brighton at the AMEX Stadium, should've then wrapped up the points in the closing stages when Matt Taylor, on for Gray, bypassed Berardi at the bye-line, pulled the ball back but, with Silvestri having been drawn to his near post, Barnes fired wide.
However, the Clarets held firm to move four points clear of Aitor Karanka's side while keeping a 17th clean sheet of the term in the process.