The game struggled to get going in the opening stages, Greg Halford’s injury for the home side caused a long stoppage and he was replaced by Will Vaulks.
Leeds took the lead in the 14th minute through top goal-scorer Chris Wood, in the first chance of the game for either side. Charlie Taylor made a great run into the area, before teeing up the striker who provided a cool finish to slot home.
Just three minutes later Liam Cooper went close to doubling the Leeds lead, heading just wide from Kalvin Phillips’ corner.
Peter Odemwingie had the ball in the back of the net for the hosts moments later, however his effort was ruled out for offside.
Hadi Sacko was next to go close for the Whites, he was played in by Luke Ayling and Millers goalkeeper Lee Camp did well to get down low to deny him, but got hurt in the process causing another stoppage.
When play resumed Rotherham were reduced to ten men, Peter Odemwingie punched Liam Cooper in the face and the forward was given his marching orders.
The Millers suffered a further blow ten minutes from the break, Camp was unable to recover from the injury suffered earlier, resulting in him leaving the field for Lewis Price.
Kalvin Phillips and Souleymane Doukara both tried to extend the lead for the Whites, but neither were able to find the target.
Seven minutes were added on ahead of the interval and after a Leeds onslaught of attacks, Garry Monk’s side eventually broke through. Kemar Roofe found Doukara who took his time to find the bottom right corner, to give Leeds a healthy cushion at the break.
Half Time: Rotherham United 0-2 Leeds United
After the break the ball fell kindly to Sacko following a set piece 25 yards out and he fired just inches over the crossbar.
Phillips was then set up by Wood to strike on the edge of the box, but he couldn’t find the target with his curling effort.
Eunan O’Kane then looked to put Sacko through on goal, utilising his pace, but Price made a good save to deny the Leeds winger.
Central defender Kyle Bartley was next to test Price, he headed at goal from a Phillips corner, forcing the Millers stopper into a good save.
Wood then came close to doubling his tally for the evening, some quick thinking at a throw-in gave Leeds substitute Stuart Dallas time to cross and he picked Wood out brilliantly, but he could only head over.
Rotherham then went close with a free-kick, Danny Ward saw his effort go just wide from 25 yards.
The home side then set up a climax at the finish, Leeds failed to clear a corner and Richard Wood headed home in the second phase, despite the best efforts of Rob Green.
Phillips almost restored the two goal advantage for Leeds almost straight from the kick-off, but Price made a great save to deny him.
In the 90th minute Green was again on hand to keep a long range effort out from Vaulks and from the resulting corner there was then a huge goalmouth scramble, which Leeds somehow survived.
Leeds then managed to see out the four minutes of injury time, despite intense pressure from Rotherham, to move up to fifth place in the Championship.
Full Time: Rotherham United 1-2 Leeds United
Leeds: Green, Ayling, Bartley, Cooper, Taylor, O’Kane, Phillips, Sacko (Berardi 90), Roofe (Antonsson 72), Doukara (Dallas 63), Wood. Subs not used: Silvestri, Grimes, Vieira, Mowatt.
Rotherham: Camp (Price 35), Kelly, Wood, Odemwingie, Ball, Halford (Vaulks 4), Fisher, Newell (Forde 76), Adeyemi, Brown. Subs not used: Mattock, Fry, Belaid, Yates.
Booked: Green, O’Kane (Leeds)
Sent Off: Odemwingie (Rotherham)
Referee: S. Atwell
Venue: New York Stadium
Attendance: 10,513 (2,277 Leeds)