PROMOTION chasers Leeds cut loose in the second half to make it a miserable start to the New Year for Rotherham United.
The Millers made a mockery of their lowly league position by having the better of the first half of today's Yorkshire derby, also hitting a post, before the home side made their quality count to win 3-0 with a brace from Chris Wood and one from Kyle Bartley.
Rotherham could have been in front after only five minutes when Anthony Forde’s free-kick was parried and Tom Adeyemi’s follow-up hit the upright.
Backed by an Elland Road crowd of 33,000, Leeds didn’t plant a shot on goal and were indebted to a last ditch tackle from Bartley denying Joe Newell a clean shot on goal.
Garry Monk’s side had to up in their game in the second half and they did. They went ahead soon after the restart when Bartley powered in a far-post header from a corner.
Rotherham dug in but were rocked again on 66 minutes when Wood controlled a cross and swept into the roof of the net.
Gaetano Berardi hit a post before Wood put the game beyond doubt when he tapped in Leeds's third and his second from Liam Bridcutt’s centre. Pablo Hernandez also rattled the woodwork in the closing stages.
The Millers are now 12 points adrift of the Championship safety line and still without an away win ahead of this weekend’s break for FA Cup action.
Leeds: Green, Ayling, Berardi, Bartley, Roofe, Jansson, Hernandez, Sacko (Vieira 46), Bridcutt, Wood, Doukara (Dallas 74)
Millers: Price, Fisher, Mattock, Broadfoot (Wood 83), Belaid, Adeyemi, Frecklington , Forde (Taylor 70), Newell (Vaulks 74), Brown, Ward
Referee: Steven Martin