The Whites suffered their 13th defeat in 14 matches in all competitions in a city they have not won in for over three years last night.
The strange thing was, they were much the better side for nearly 20 minutes at West Ham United twice denied goals by very tight decisions, but once they conceded all confidence left them and passed into the claret-and-blue shirts for 25 crucial minutes.
Maybe it would have been different had Patrick Bamford converted what for him was a straight-forward chance or Lukas Fabianski had not saved what even by Raphinha’s standards was not at the start of a second half when Leeds carved out plenty of chances. But they did not and it was not.
For much of the game, West Ham did not feel 2-0 better than Leeds, but for the period that decided it, they were more dominant than that.
“Right that’s your wake up call!” a home player shouted after the video assistant referee chalked a Tyler Roberts goal off because Helder Costa was offside. It was one of those infuriating VAR calls based on a level of precision the frames-per-second of the pictures does not allow.
West Ham only hit the snooze button, and when Bamford netted a minute later, Raphinha was adjudged to have pulled his cross from a smidgeon behind the line.
It was the 18th minute before West Ham came to the party, Tomas Soucek heading ex-Sheffield Wednesday player Michail Antonio’s cross wide, but the game would soon be transformed.
Lingard exchanged passes with Said Benrahma, then went down under Luke Ayling’s challenge. The Manchester United loanee’s penalty was poor but he was first to Illan Meslier’s save to score.
The assuredness of Leeds’s passing deserted them. West Ham woke up.
Kalvin Phillips, who had made a good return from a calf injury, gave the ball away under 27th-minute pressure from Benrahma and when the forward played an excellent pass to Antonio, Liam Cooper hauled him down in a dangerous position considering West Ham’s set-piece expert is a left footer in Aaron Cresswell.
The deflection off Ayling on his free-kick wrong-footed Meslier but put the ball out for a Cresswell corner.
From it, Craig Dawson lost Diego Llorente too easily and headed in from yards out.
Benrahma shot over after a poor Raphinha touch from a throw-in surrendered possession, then Lingard did. Roberts’s wayward pass ended with Meslier denying Benrahma.
Set-pieces were Leeds’s undoing when the sides met at Elland Road and have been too often under Bielsa. Dawson got the better of Llorente again at a corner in first-half stoppage time, heading against the base of the post.
Leeds restarted with Llorente’s pass slicing West Ham open, giving Bamford time to pick his spot yet he curled wide, then Raphinha’s brilliant overhead kick was tipped over. Eight minutes into the half Pablo Fornals made his play for the not-quite-goal-of-the-season award, a dipper from the best part of 30 yards over Meslier’s hand onto the crossbar.
The Leeds chances kept coming but perhaps they did not realise Bielsa’s constant cries of “Again! Quickly!” were only in relation to the creation, not their execution.
Raphinha fired wide, then forced another Fabianski save from Ezgjan Alioski’s pull-back, Stuart Dallas had a shot blocked and Bamford’s effort from the corner hit a defender.
Jack Harrison sliced across a shot, Bamford ballooned one and Rodrigo – on for the final half-hour – screamed his frustration at missing.
An 87th-minute effort summed up their capital pains. When Bamford jumped over Ayling’s cross, Vladimir Coufal took pity, touching the ball goalwards for him, only for Dawson to clear.
On quantity and quality of chances, Leeds should have won, but as soon as they went behind you never felt they would.
West Ham United: Fabianski; Coufal, Dawson, Diop, Cresswell; Soucek, Rice; Fornals, Lingard (Johnson 87), Benrahma (Bowen 80); Antonio. Unused substitutes: Balbuena, Lanzini, Noble, Martin, Trott, Odubeko.
Leeds United: Meslier; Ayling, Llorente, Cooper, Dallas; Phillips; Raphinha, Klich (Alioski 46), Roberts (Rodrigo 60), Costa (Harrison 46); Bamford. Unused substitutes: Poveda, Davis, Caprile, Berardi, Jenkins, Huggins.
Referee: M Dean (Wirral).