The game was decided in the space of four first-half minutes when Leeds took, as it happened, and unassailable two-goal lead.
Defender Danny Mills got the first before Robbie Fowler was gifted the second while Wanderers even threw away a penalty chance as Paul Robinson saved Youri Djorkaeff's spot kick.
And in the 75th minute the smile was back on Terry Venables’ face as Jason Wilcox crowned the victory with an impressive third goal.
Bolton started playing the neater football but Jay-Jay Okocha was guilty of blasting a good opportunity over the bar after fine work by Djorkaeff.
Yet Leeds had shown their intent as Harry Kewell made lightning raids down the right that provided the home defence with some anxious moments and when the Australian exchanged passes with Mills it gave Leeds the start they needed.
Mills charged through the middle of the home defence, evaded Ivan Campo's desperate lunge before firing in a 25-yard shot into the top corner of the net.
When Ian Harte crossed into the area both Jussi Jaaskelainen and Bruno N'Gotty left it to each other that ended with the ball hitting a post and rebounding to Kewell, whose header left Fowler with a simple tap-in.
Worse was to follow for the home side as they missed a golden chance to pull a goal back from the penalty spot after Harte had handled, keeper Robinson pushing Djorkaeff's effort onto a post and to safety.
Having re-gathered their senses during the half-time interval Wanderers made a concerted effort to get back into the game.
They took the game to Leeds and created enough chances to have pulled at least one goal back.
Gudni Bergsson almost beat keeper Robinson in a goalmouth scramble before Stig Tofting clipped the top of the bar with a stunning shot.
Djorkaeff then tested Robinson but with 15 minutes left Leeds finally put all their worries behind them as Bolton-born Wilcox finally made sure of the three points.
Wilcox did all the hard work himself, cutting in from the wing and rounding a defender before unleashing a shot that flew past Jaaskelainen's despairing dive.
Bolton then used all three substitutes but by that time it was game over and suddenly Venables was a hero again.