Leeds had only themselves to blame last night as Carl Robinson ensured that Sunderland made off with the Championship points from Elland Road.
Brett Ormerod was the main culprit, missing a second-half penalty which would have given the home side a share of the spoils.
Sunderland moved up to fourth, thanks to the first goal Leeds have conceded from open play at home this season.
Leeds striker, Brian Deane, at 37 just two years younger than the combined age of the visiting strike-force of Stephen Elliott and Chris Brown, almost put Leeds in front in the first half with a crisp header. The referee Michael Ryan had other ideas and chalked the goal off for Ormerod's challenge on the goalkeeper.
Brown's faint touch to a Dean Whitehead cross, shaved Sullivan's right-hand post during an early Sunderland attack.
The winner came from Robinson when he took a pass from Dean Robinson and steered a shot past Sullivan from 20 yards in the 64th minute.
It was Stephen Caldwell who conceded the penalty with 18 minutes remaining, cutting down Deane. Ormerod's attempt was comfortably saved by Mark Poom.
Leeds: Sullivan; Kelly, Butler, Carlisle, Crainey; Richardson, Wright, Gregan, Pugh; Deane, Ormerod. Substitutes: Carson, Ricketts, Joachim, Spring, Duberry.
Sunderland: Poom; Wright, Stephen Caldwell, Breen, McCartney; Whitehead, Whitley, Robinson, Carter; Elliott, Brown. Substitutes: Myhre, Lawrence, Collins, Lynch, Bridges.
Referee: M Ryan (Lancashire).Reuse content