Dennis Wise's unseemly grapple with Diomansy Kamara probably owed more to frustration with his own players than with the admittedly provocative Senegalese forward. After all, Kamara's marker, the hapless Hayden Foxe, never got close enough to lay a hand on him in an 89-minute runaround.
The Leeds manager said his defenders had been instructed to keep tight to a forward who frankly looked too good for the Championship. Yet Leeds, clearly all too aware of Kamara's ability, repeatedly backed off, never more obviously and embarrassingly than in a moment before half-time when their tormentor-in-chief was allowed to turn on the edge of the area, unchallenged, and flight a delightful, curling shot into the far corner.
Wise will doubtless find himself in trouble with the authorities after the referee, Neil Swarbrick, was left with no choice but to send him off, but as he correctly pointed out: "That's the least of my worries."
Despite going ahead after three minutes through Tore Andre Flo, Leeds were two goals adrift by half-time. Jonathan Greening's 20-yard drive brought West Bromwich Albion level before Kamara's two strikes.
In other circumstances, Alan Thompson's high-quality free-kick in the second half would have been no more than academic, but it did least spare Leeds the humiliation of replacing Southend at the foot of the Championship - for now. At six points from safety, defeat in their next game, away to Hull City a week tomorrow, is unthinkable.
Before then, the Leeds manager is taking his squad away to Cyprus for a few days. Apart from helping his players recover from the trauma of a third loss to West Bromwich this season, presumably his main priority will be to teach them the rudiments of defending in the hope of improving their record of conceding 52 goals in 28 Championship games.
As for West Bromwich, whose last eight fixtures have yielded 23 goals, an appetising FA Cup tie against Wolverhampton Wanderers awaits at the weekend. They approach it in rude health.
Goals: Flo (3) 1-0; Greening (7) 1-1; Kamara (19) 1-2; Kamara (45) 1-3; Thompson (66) 2-3.
Leeds United (4-4-2): Sullivan; Sa, Marques, Foxe, Elliott (Kandol, 57); Blake ( Moore, 57), Nicholls, Thompson (Einarsson, 82), Lewis; Flo, Healy. Substitutes not used: Heath, Howson.
West Bromwich Albion (4-4-2): Hoult; McShane, Davies, Clement, Robinson; Gera, Greening, Chaplow, Koren; Phillips, Kamara (Nicholson, 89). Substitutes not used: Zuberbühler (gk), Carter, Davies, Hodgkiss.
Referee: N Swarbrick (Lancashire ).
Booked: Leeds United Foxe, Thompson; West Bromwich Albion Kamara.
Man of the match: Kamara.
Attendance: 20,090.Reuse content