LEEDS UNITED fell to an eighth defeat from their last 11 league games as a rampant Wolves side moved four points clear at the top of the Championship with a 4-1 win at Molineux.
READ MORE - RECAP: How the Whites went down at Molineux
A potent Wolves led 2-0 at the break through a brilliant Barry Douglas free-kick and excellent finish from the menacing Ivan Cavaleiro.
United gave themselves hope when Samu Saiz set up Gjanni Alioski to score three minutes after the break but Leeds played the final 30 minutes with ten men after Ronaldo Vieira was shown a second yellow card.
United continued to attack but Jota broke away to make it 3-1 in the 72nd minute before a Helder Costa penalty put Wolves out of sight with 14 minutes to go.
Leeds began brightly and right back Luke Ayling burst into the box in the second minute but saw his deflected low cross held by John Ruddy.
Wolves then hit back by creating their first chance four minutes later with Cavaleiro’s strong cross/shot punched away by Andy Lonergan.
But there was absolutely nothing Lonergan could do about the home side’s opener 15 minutes in.
After Gaetano Berardi was dispossessed, Liam Cooper scythed down Cavaleiro on the edge of the box and Douglas stepped up to curl home an unstoppable free-kick into the top right corner.
Molineux was rocking and three further Wolves chances went begging in the next five minutes.
Leo Bonatini fired two good opportunities just wide before Cavaleiro saw a powerful volley well held by Lonergan.
But Cavalerio looked destined to score at any moment and did so in the 26th minute when superb play by Jota teed up Cavaleiro who produced a brilliant turn into the area before rasping home an effort which proved too powerful for Lonergan.
United chances were few and far between though from a Whites free-kick, Alioski’s goalbound effort hit Kemar Roofe allowing Wolves to clear.
Wolves went straight on the attack and very nearly made it 3-0 when Jota again fed Cavaleiro whose clever effort with the outside of his foot went just wide.
Leeds then briefly threatened one minute before the break but Ruddy parried away an effort by Roofe and the follow-up attempt from Samu Saiz proved weak allowing Ruddy to again save.
Trailing 2-0 at the break, Leeds were left with a mountain to climb but United put themselves back in contention three minutes after the break.
A fine curling delivery from Saiz picked out the run of Alioski who darted into the area and produced a superb volleyed finish.
But on the hour the Whites found themselves down to ten men after Vieira was sent off for a second yellow card.
Vieira had already been booked for fouling Jota in the first half and took out the same player with a late challenge leaving referee Geoff Eltringham with no choice but to send the midfielder for an early bath.
Leeds continued to attack and Saiz cut inside before unleashing a dangerous low shot which Ruddy saved.
But Wolves remained a constant threat and the contest was effectively ended in the 72nd minute when Jota was released one on one before producing a delicate chip over the onrushing Lonergan.
The Whites keeper then looked to have prevented a fourth goal for Wolves shortly afterwards when saving from Jota but Bonatini pounced on the rebound and Lonergan then fouled the Wolves attacker giving Wanderers a penalty.
Substitute Costa stepped up to rifle the ball home from 12 yards.
Wolves were out of sight though Leeds then had a chance in the 80th minute when substitute Caleb Ekuban failed to net a header from close range.
Leeds United: Lonergan, Ayling, Cooper, Jansson, Berardi, Phillips, Vieira, Alioski, Hernandez (O’Kane 66), Saiz (Dallas 76), Roofe (Ekuban 66). Subs not used: Wiedwald, Shaughnessy, Pennington, Anita.
Wolves: Ruddy, Coady, Bennett, Boly, Douglas, Saiss (N’Diaye 80), Neves (Price 80), Doherty, Jota, Bonatini, Cavaleiro (Costa 66). Subs not used: Norris, N’Diaye, Baath, Miranda, Enobakhare.
Referee: Geoff Eltringham.