In the final friendly before the return to Premier League action against Manchester City, United suffered a second-half meltdown to crash 4-2 at home to AS Monaco.
Coming into the match, Jesse Marsch’s side had played two warm-up friendly games against Elche CF and Real Sociedad, winning both with a 2-1 scoreline against their La Liga opposition.
The French cut the Whites defence open three times in nine minutes straight after half time as another match – albeit a friendly – slipped through their grasp.
On this evidence, a depleted Leeds seem no nearer to tightening up their defence than before the World Cup break nearly seven weeks ago.
United’s last Premier League game in mid-November saw them lose 4-3 at Tottenham Hotspur having thrice held leads.
This season they have gone ahead against Spurs, Southampton, Crystal Palace and Fulham, but could only muster a point against the Saints.
Leeds were without a host of players against Monaco but deservedly took the lead through a Robin Koch header.
Even when Swiss international striker Breel Embolo equalised there was little to suggest that the Whites would collapse so dramatically straight after the interval.
Still within the first 45 in West Yorkshire, Gelhardt, Kristensen and then Greenwood would all pose danger to the Monaco goal - but they couldn’t find a way through, meaning the teams went in level at the break.
The defence had looked relatively solid with Koch, who was taken off at the break, particularly impressive.
Within a minute of the restart, Leeds were opened up for Eliot Martins to put Monaco ahead.
Ismail Jacobs soon made it 3-1 and, before they knew what had hit them, Embolo added the fourth. The goals were embarrassingly simple.
Leeds have managed just two clean sheets in their last 19 top-flight matches and it is hard to see them keeping Manchester City and Newcastle United at bay in their next two fixtures.
Joe Gelhardt got a rare full 90 minutes and netted from the penalty spot with the last kick of the game.
Gelhardt started because Rodrigo was not risked due to a tight muscle, although he is expected the start against the champions next Wednesday.
Goalkeeper Illan Meslier may be unavailable after a bout of glandular fever. The experienced Joel Robles is tipped to don the gloves should the French stopper be ruled out.
Despite not being able to get back level in the match, a number of different players had gained vital minutes on the pitch prior to the Premier League action restarting after Christmas in this friendly.
Leeds: Klaesson (GK), Ayling, Forshaw (Joseph 62’), Koch (Llorente 45’), Aaronson (Gyabi 80’), Roca, Struijk (Hjelde 80’), Kristensen (Firpo 67’), Gnonto, Gelhardt, Greenwood. Subs not used: Robles (GK), Van den Heuvel (GK), Drameh.
Monaco: Nobel (GK), Maripan, Camara (Magassa 81’), Jakobs (Oliveira Silva 81’), Matazo (Minamino 61’), Golovin (Lemarechal 61’), Sarr, Aguilar (Vanderson 61’), Embolo (Ben Yedder 70’), Seghir (Volland 70’), Martins (Diatta 61’). Subs not used: Didillon (GK), Badiashile, Boadu, De Souza Oliviera.
Venue: Elland Road
Referee: Andy Madley
Booked: Jakobs (Monaco)