LEEDS United moved back into the Championship’s play-offs in fifth as goals from Chris Wood and Souleymane Doukara sealed a 2-1 win at ten man Rotherham United who caused mayhem with a late rally inside the final ten minutes.
Leeds took just 14 minutes to take the lead when Charlie Taylor raced to the byline before pulling the ball back for Chris Wood to fire home his 12th goal of the campaign.
Rotherham were then left with a mountain to climb in the 29th minute when Peter Odemwingie challenged Liam Cooper with an outstretched elbow and was shown a straight red card.
Leeds doubled their lead in the seventh minute of first half injury time when Kemar Roofe fed Souleymane Doukara whose low shot squirmed into the far corner.
But the Whites then took their foot of the pedal towards the end of the second half and Richard Wood set up a grandstand finish when heading from an 86th-minute corner.
Only a superb save from Rob Green and some desperate defending then denied the Millers an even later equaliser but Leeds eventually saw out five minutes of injury time to the relief of just over 2,000 travelling away fans.
Leeds dominated possession from the off with Garry Monk’s side looking comfortable without creating an early chance.
Rotherham also lost Greg Halford to injury in just the third minute.
The Millers looked there for the taking and Leeds went 1-0 up through their very first chance after a quarter of an hour.
From the left hand side, Taylor weaved his way into the Rotherham area with complete ease before pulling the ball back for Wood who calmly stroked the ball home from 12 yards.
The goal sparked a yellow flare being let off in the away end and Leeds then went mightily close to doubling their lead just two minutes later when a Kalvin Phillips corner was met by Liam Cooper whose header went narrowly wide of the left hand post.
Rotherham were going nowhere and it was with a sporadic attack that Odemeingie’s low shot found the back of the net only to be greeted by an offside flag.
After a break in play following an injury to Rotherham ‘keeper Lee Camp, Rotherham raced forward and Danny Ward fired a low shot wide from the edge of the area.
But just two minutes later the Millers were reduced to ten men when Odemwingie inexplicably challenged Liam Cooper with an outstretched elbow and was shown a straight red card one minute before the half hour.
Cooper was soon back to his feet and produced some strong defending to block a Ward shot moments later.
Rotherham’s evening then got worse in the 35th minute when Camp had to finally give in to injury and was replaced by Lewis Price.
Leeds looked to be cruising, with Kalvin Phillips shooting well over from 25 yards before Rob Green showed safe hands at the other end to deal with a Rotherham corner.
For Leeds, Doukara then fired well wide from the edge of the box but Rotherham threatened two minutes before the break when Richard Wood broke free in the Whites area but scooped an easy chance over the bar though in any event he was offside.
Both sides then had chances in the first six minutes of seven added minutes of injury time with Cooper doing well to block an Izzy Brown cross before Roofe, Phillips and Doukara all had efforts blocked for Leeds.
But the Whites then dealt the Millers another bitter blow in the seventh minute of added time when a lovely pass from Roofe found Doukara who controlled the ball in the right hand side of the penalty area before feeding a low shot into the bottom left corner.
Leeds were then soon back on the attack after the interval with Sacko leathering a fierce volley just over the bar before Phillips fired just wide from the edge of the area.
From a rare Rotherham attack, Eunan O’Kane was booked for pulling back Tom Adeyemi but moments later O’Kane delivered a superb long ball to pick out Sacko who should have scored but took a heavy touch and allowed Price to smother.
Leeds were then denied what looked like a clear penalty when Roofe was felled by a shirt pulling Stephen Kelly in the penalty area.
From a 60th-minute corner, Kyle Bartley then put a free header straight at Price, after which Monk brought on Stuart Dallas for Doukara.
Leeds continued to attack, cruising to victory, with Sacko denied a one-on-one at an angle when penalised for a shoulder barge.
Roofe was then withdrawn for Marcus Antonsson with 17 minutes left, just after the Whites had cleared a Millers corner.
At the other end, Wood headed just over the bar in search of his second goal of the night.
Rotherham then went mightily close in the 78th minute when a Ward free-kick fizzed just wide - a warning to Leeds who by now had taken their foot off the pedal.
Rotherham again poured forward with five minutes left and efforts from Anthony Forde and Will Vaulks both blocked - the second attempt deflected over for a corner.
And it was from that 86th-minute corner that the Millers set up a grandstand finish as Richard Wood rose highest to place a header in the far corner despite the attempts of Green.
Rotherham had a new lease of life and the Millers then went desperately close to levelling three minutes later when a 20 yard effort from Vaulks was brilliantly tipped wide by Green for a corner.
That corner then produced a mad scramble from which the Millers somehow failed to score with the ball ballooned over the bar. Rotherham were then given four added minutes to grab an equaliser but fine work from Wood and then Taylor allowed Leeds to run the clock down.
But a failure to keep possession in the fourth and fifth minute of added time caused panic stations from a late Rotherham long throw.
Leeds eventually cleared to move fifth in the table and breath a massive sigh of relief.
Leeds United: Green, Ayling, Cooper, Bartley, Taylor, Phillips, O’Kane, Sacko (Berardi 90), Roofe (Antonsson 73), Doukara (Dallas 63), Wood. Subs not used: Silvestri, Mowatt, Grimes, Vieira.
Rotherham United: Camp (Price 35); Kelly, Wood, Ball, Fisher; Halford (Vaulks 3); Brown, Newell (Forde 77), Adeyemi, Odemwingie; Ward. Subs not used: Mattock, Fry, Belaid, Yates.
Referee: Stuart Atwell.
Attendance: 10,513 (2,277 Leeds).
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