Yet Sam Allardyce's men only achieved the feat after Leeds had effectively shot themselves in the foot as Mark Viduka was sent off after receiving two yellow cards in a mindless 120 seconds.
He was booked for a 31st minute foul on Emerson Thome, looked to have escaped a second following a lunge at Ivan Campo but eventually went off after charging at Bruno N'Gotty.
And all that after the Australian striker had given the The Whites a glimmer of hope with a 27th minute penalty.
In the end, however, the one-man deficit showed as Wanderers hit them with two Youri Djorkaeff goals, an own goal by Ian Harte and another from Kevin Nolan - his 12th of the season.
Most of the problems Leeds have faced this season were present in a disastrous first half, that ironically ended with them holding a one-goal lead.
Hard to imagine now that on this date in 2001 Leeds stood on the brink of the Champions League final, with Spanish giants Valencia in a semi-final.
Hesitant defending presented Bolton with enough chances to have given them the lead while Viduka's rush of blood left Leeds undermanned and overworked.
Danish striker Henrik Pedersen had early chances to give Wanderers the lead, one shot deflected away for a corner before Robinson showed safe hands to deny him the lead.
Even when Robinson was beaten by a Nicky Hunt cross that looked destined for the far corner, Michael Duberry was on hand to head clear.
Leeds took the lead when Trotters defender Thome was adjudged to have impeded Alan Smith in the area, Viduka sending the keeper the wrong way with the resulting penalty kick.
Thome was cautioned for his protests, however, as last man and given the letter of the law, the Brazilian centre-back should have been dismissed.
However six minutes later Viduka turned villain, seeing red after clashing with Thome and then N'Gotty.
Up until the break though 10-man Leeds held their own as Bolton lost their edge, and it was United who came close to adding a second just before the break, with Ivan Campo clearing off the line a James Milner header.
Within a minute of the restart Wanderers were level.
Youri Djorkaeff picked up Jay-Jay Okocha's pass to beat Robinson at the second attempt.
The Frenchman could have had a second two minutes later had Kelly not been on the line to head his piledriver away for a corner.
Yet Djorkaeff was not to be denied and when Hunt's 53rd minute shot was beaten out, he fired the rebound into the net.
Leeds' agony was not over and 90 seconds later Harte diverted Pedersen's cross into his own net.
Bolton completed the rout in the 78th minute, Okocha splitting the Leeds defence apart with a wonderful pass that left Nolan with the easiest of chances.
The tears of Leeds born hero Alan Smith at the final whistle said it all for United, who will be playing Division One football next season.
The Leeds fans were great as usual singing "going down, but we'll be back," and followed that with a touch of Yorkshire humour with a chorus of "we're all going on a Nationwide tour."