Luis Sinisterra’s solo effort clinched Leeds a deserved 2-1 home win in their Premier League relegation battle with Nottingham Forest.
The Colombia winger, making just his second start since early February due to a muscle injury, curled home Leeds’ winner in first-half stoppage time to lift his side out of the bottom three.
Forest had taken an early lead through Orel Mangala’s effort before Jack Harrison equalised soon after and Sinisterra’s strike extended the visitors’ winless league run to eight matches.
Leeds bounced back from Saturday’s 4-1 defeat at Arsenal – they have taken 10 points from boss Javi Gracia’s six league games in charge – and climbed five places up to 13th in a heavily-congested bottom half of the table.
Leeds made a frenetic start, but Forest served warning of their threat when Emmanuel Dennis struck a post in the eighth minute after Felipe had flicked on Morgan Gibbs-White’s corner.
It got even better for Forest in the 12th minute when Mangala’s first goal for the club gave them the lead.
The visitors hit Leeds on the break and after racing on to Danilo’s pass down the left, Dennis cut the ball back to the edge of the area for Mangala to steer a low finish into the bottom corner.
But Leeds, undeterred, trailed for just eight minutes. Marc Roca’s thumping 25-yard low drive was parried by Forest goalkeeper Keylor Navas and Harrison slammed home the rebound for his third goal in four matches.
Leeds’ tails were up and Forest were forced to defend in numbers. Patrick Bamford failed to connect cleanly in front of goal after Roca’s pull-back, but the home side took the lead in first-half stoppage time.
Sinisterra stepped inside from the left – evading both Neco Williams and Mangala – and whipped a low, right-footed finish inside the far post.
Bamford was denied a shooting chance by Moussa Niakhate’s last-ditch tackle as Leeds continued to dictate at the start of the second period.
Navas was forced into urgent action to snaffle Luke Ayling’s low cross and Harrison’s shot was blocked before he dragged another effort wide.
Sinisterra had the home fans out of their seats with a curling effort as Leeds chased a third, killer goal and Bamford lashed a golden chance off target.
Weston McKennie’s shot was held by Navas and although Williams and Forest substitutes Jonjo Shelvey, Gustavo Scarpa and Andre Ayew all had shots blocked in the closing stages, Leeds held on for their seventh league win of the season.