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Leeds United 0 - 1 Cardiff City: Cardiff Capitalise on Costly Mistake at Elland Road

A mistake from Sam Byram gifted Cardiff a chance to score which they took to leave Elland Road with a lucky three points.

Laurence Griffiths

They do say when you're top of the table you get some luck. They also say that the best manage to pick up results when they don't deserve it.

Today was a prime example of it.

Despite not playing as good as we could have done, Leeds did enough to at least get a point in a close encounter at Elland Road.

After last week's brilliant performance against Tottenham Hotspur, you could have forgiven Neil Warnock for going with the same starting eleven that matched the Spurs man-for-man. That wasn't the case as Warnock decided to use Ross Barkley down the right and Paddy Kenny returned between the sticks.

Stephen Warnock and Habib Habibou made the bench but the came was too early for Steve Morison who is struggling with a thigh injury.

United dominated the early proceedings and McCormack and Varney were linking up well down the left-hand side. Ross Barkley and Sam Byram were doing the same on the right and it looked promising for the Whites.

With neither side really testing the keepers, Leeds made the first move and Marshall was on form to save the ball from close range with his legs. Minutes later Austin and Barkley tried from distance but both were well off target.

The visitors thought they'd taken the lead minutes before half-time, when after some good play Craig Bellamy poked the ball home. The Welshmen was a yard or two offside and the two sides entered the tunnel all square.

Leeds once again started the second-half in a buoyant mood but once more neither side could carve out a clear-cut chance.

With Leeds failing to score - Cardiff gained confidence and began to find possession in and around the box. Peter Whittingham was dominating proceedings and Craig Bellamy was running the channels to add something different to the proceedings.

As the game ticked by it was becoming obvious that chances were going to be at a premium and it was a costly mistake from Leeds that gifted the visitors the lead. It's not often Sam Byram makes a mistake but his poor clearance fell to Bellamy, and his shot was tapped home by Fraizer Campbell.

Leeds were stunned to have been pegged back and took a few minutes to get themselves together before they started to up the ante. Austin was woeful and his shots were blocked at ease by Cardiff who were being commanded by the impressive Hudson at the back.

Habib Habibou was introduced and made his Leeds debut when he came on for Diouf with 17 minutes to go. Leeds continued to push and push for that equaliser and Tom Lees should have grabbed it when his header from point blank range was saved by Marshall.

Three minutes were added on but United couldn't break down the Cardiff resistance.

In the end it was a harsh result, on a different day United would have scored two tap-ins if they'd have been scuffed home. Cardiff are top of the table and they get the luck of the draw while being there. I've seen worse performances from us this season but the boo boys are still out in force. It's hard to decide whether this season is a right-off just yet but with no consistency it's hard to argue we won't finish mid-table once more.