Leeds ceded the advantage in the Championship’s automatic promotion race in spectacular circumstances after losing to the 10 men of relegation-threatened Wigan.
Despite being gifted the numerical advantage by the contentious decision by referee Scott Duncan to send off Cedric Kipre, the Yorkshire club could not capitalise over the next 75 minutes despite taking the lead soon afterwards.
Patrick Bamford’s goal, after Pablo Hernandez struck the woodwork from the penalty spot, appeared to be sending Leeds three points clear of rivals Sheffield United in their bid to end a 15-year Premier League exile via a top-two finish.
Gavin Massey headed in from close to score the visitor's second goal at Elland Road
Massey's second goal sparked wild scenes from the Wigan coaching staff on the touchline
Wigan were reduced to 10 men after just 14 minutes with Cedric Kipre seeing a straight red
Pablo Hernandez saw his spot kick saved in the first half after Kipre conceded the penalty
Patrick Bamford scored the opener for Leeds shortly after Hernandez's penalty miss
Leeds manager Marcelo Bielsa looks concerned as he watches on from the touchline
They ended an extraordinary afternoon in third place on goal difference, however, after Gavin Massey’s brace for a Wigan team with just one previous away win.
With a tough-looking tea-time trip to Brentford on Easter Monday followed by the arrival of in-form Aston Villa here next Saturday, Leeds recognised the importance of this fixture against a team trying to avoid a third demotion to the third tier in the space of five years.
By the final whistle, though, the party atmosphere had dissipated and Duncan had to clear objects from the Wigan penalty area as frustrations boiled over for supporters in the south stand.
In contrast, the contest had swung heavily in Leeds’ favour just shy of the quarter hour when a frantic attack culminated with a home penalty and Wigan’s Cedric Kipre being dismissed.
Leeds (4-1-4-1): Casilla, Ayling, Jansson, Berardi, Alioski, Phillips (Forshaw 46), Hernandez, Roberts (Roofe 46), Klich (Clarke 70), Harrison, Bamford;
Subs not used: Peacock-Farrell, Dallas, Davis, Shackleton
Scorers: Bamford (17)
Booked: Klich, Ayling, Berardi
Wigan (4-2-3-1): Walton, Byrne, Dunkley, Kipre, Robinson, James, Morsy, Massey (Powell 75), Evans, Naismith, Clarke (Olsson 67);
Subs not used: Gibson, Windass, Roberts, Evans, Garner
Scorers: Massey (44, 62)
Sent off: Kipre (14)