Goals from Sam Clucas and man-of-the-match Joe Allen were enough to condemn ten-man Leeds to only their sixth Championship loss of the season and give new Stoke boss Nathan Jones a victorious home league debut.
In the aftermath of ‘spygate’, it was instead Jones who out-played Marcelo Bielsa with a tactical masterclass against the league leaders who were reduced to few chances by a resolute Stoke defence.
Like they have in all but one Championship game this season, Leeds had the most possession but failed to make it count, despite a late Alioski strike, as their lead at the top of the division was cut to just one point.
Leeds were looking to complete a league double over Stoke for the first time since the 1988-89 season and Pablo Hernandez almost gave the Whites a perfect start, but his shot fizzed narrowly wide of Jack Butland.
Tyrone Campbell, on his first league start after two well-taken goals against Shrewsbury midweek in the FA Cup, had a great opportunity to open his Championship account but he missed the ball after great midfield work by Charlie Adam, Sam Clucas and Joe Allen.
Hernandez should have opened the scoring soon after, but the Spaniard fluffed his lines from Mateusz Klich’s cutback after a pulsating Leeds attack.
Stoke had just two shots against Brentford last weekend, the joint-lowest attempted by a Championship team this season, but it was only a superb Bailey Peacock-Farrell save that denied Peter Etebo’s curling free-kick that was creeping into the top right-hand corner.
After an even first half of few chances, Clucas broke the deadlock when he capitalised on a poor Klich headed clearance to fire a half-volley into the far bottom corner that left Peacock-Farrell with no chance.
Tyler Roberts then entered the affray for the ineffective Jack Harrison and he almost made an instant impact but his cross was just behind the in-form Kemar Roofe.
The experienced Ashley Williams had a good chance to double the Potters’ lead but his sliding effort went straight into the hands of Peacock-Farrell after Benik Afobe’s flicked header from a corner found his path.
Bielsa’s side then faced a mountain to climb when Pontus Jansson received a second yellow card for pulling back Afobe when the forward was racing through on goal.
Despite the man disadvantage Leeds thought they found an equaliser when Luke Ayling powerfully headed Hernandez’s goal towards goal but remarkable reflexes from Stoke stalwart Jack Butland kept them ahead.
It was instead Stoke who would score next and double their advantage as a sliding Allen just about reached substitute James McClean’s wonderfully whipped cross to send the Bet365 stadium into raptures.
Ezgjan Alioski scored with virtually the last kick of the game but it wasn’t enough as Stoke ran out winners and climbed up to 14th in the Championship table.