Leeds United 0 Cardiff City 1
Leeds manager Neil Warnock claimed his side should have had two penalties as Cardiff restored their ten-point lead at the top of the table.
The game was won by a 64th-minute goal from debutant Fraizer Campbell after young defender Sam By-ram’s careless clearance ran to Craig Bellamy, whose low shot was expertly turned past Paddy Kenny by the £650,000 capture from Sunderland.
But Warnock accused referee Mike Dean of being in a bad position when Cardiff captain Mark Hudson appeared to handle the ball and felt another handball was missed late on.
He said: “It is a cruel game sometimes. Everything about today was cruel.
“We missed open goals and the young lad (Byram) made a schoolboy error.
“I thought Mike Dean was brilliant but he didn’t see the handball, when we all appealed, because he was in a bad position and should have been in a better one.
“He had three or four bodies in the way. The linesman could have helped him out, but they don’t, do they.
“Then there was another handball in the 93rd minute that wasn’t given.
“Our two centre-halves were magnificent, we played some good stuff against the top-of-the-table team and were better than them, so it’s very frustrating that we got nothing.”
Cardiff boss Malky Mackay hailed debutant Campbell after the striker scored two minutes after stepping off the substitutes’ bench.
The Bluebirds were second-best until Mackay introduced his new signing.
“I am delighted for Fraizer. He is very humble and has rapidly bought into our team ethic,” said Mackay.
“He is a willing runner and an intelligent footballer who knows where the goal is. He has not played a lot of football lately so the mind was willing and the flesh was weak, but he will soon be up to speed.
“I’ve never had an easy game at Elland Road in my life and we knew it would be tough, especially as they had an incredible, very well deserved win against Spurs last week.”
David Marshall was the central character of a disjointed first half. The Cardiff and Scotland goalkeeper handled Aron Gunnarsson’s adjudged back-pass 16 yards out but later atoned with a reflex save to foil Ross Barkley.
Bellamy bundled the ball into the net just before half-time, but the veteran Wales international had strayed offside.
Leeds handed a debut to new signing Habib Habibou in the 73rd minute but the former Zulte Waregem striker could not follow Campbell’s example.