Bothroyd leads way as Cardiff run riot

Leeds United 0 Cardiff City 4

A decade ago this week, disappointment for Leeds United was a last-minute Barcelona equaliser at Elland Road in the Champions League. Last night it was a hammering by Cardiff City in the Championship that exposed the defensive frailties of a side whose bright start to life in the second tier is fading fast after a fourth defeat in five.

"Championship, you're having a laugh," sang the gloating Cardiff fans, but they were the only ones smiling. Leeds had no answer to the pace and purpose of a Cardiff team who climbed level with the Championship leaders QPR with this fifth straight victory, courtesy of goals from Jay Bothroyd (two), Michael Chopra and Lee Naylor.

Although Alex Bruce sent an early header wide from a corner, it was Cardiff who made the more composed start, Bothroyd and Craig Bellamy catching the eye with some clever touches. It took them 20 minutes to trouble Kasper Schmeichel, Seyi Olofinjana driving a low shot at the Dane, but they were in front two minutes later.

Bruce, brought in to replace the error-prone Richard Naylor, let Tom Heaton's kick bounce over his head in the expectation Schmeichel would gather on the edge of the box. Instead the pair got in each other's way, Bruce kicking the ball as Schmeichel sought to grasp it, whereupon it ran through the goalkeeper's legs, allowing Bothroyd to pounce with a shot that beat Bruce's desperate attempt to cover.

Leeds sought to respond with Davide Somma playing in Luciano Becchio on the right of the box, but his near-post effort was straight at Heaton. Yet Cardiff remained on top, Bellamy and Bothroyd both going close before the break.

The visitors tightened their grip with Chopra's marginally offside goal in the 52nd minute. He latched on to Mark Hudson's pass before finding the far corner via Schmeichel's gloves with a shot from the edge of the area.

Four minutes later it was three as Bothroyd buried Chris Burke's low cross. Things got even worse for Leeds when Bellamy laid a ball back to Naylor and the left-back hit a 20-yard drive into the right-hand corner. Leeds were denied a consolation when Becchio's header was ruled offside, but the gloom had already descended on Elland Road.

Leeds (4-4-2): Schmeichel; Connolly, Bruce, Collins, McCartney; Snodgrass, Howson, Faye (Clayton 81), Johnson (Gradel 64); Somma (Nuñez 67), Becchio. Substitutes not used Brown, Kilkenny, Hughes, Bromby.

Cardiff (4-4-2): Heaton; McNaughton, Hudson, Gyepes, Naylor; Burke, Whittingham, Olofinjana, Bellamy; Chopra (Keogh 73), Bothroyd. Substitutes not used Marshall, Rae, McPhail, Koumas, Blake, Wildig.

Referee M Oliver (Northumberland).

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
An iceberg in Ilulissat, Greenland; researchers have been studying the phenomena of the melting glaciers and their long-term ramifications for the rest of the world (Getty)
news
Environment
environment
Arts and Entertainment
Hugh Jackman bears his claws and loses the plot in X-Men movie 'The Wolverine'
film
Arts and Entertainment
'Knowledge is power': Angelina Jolie has written about her preventive surgery
film
News
Zayn has become the first member to leave One Direction. 'I have to do what feels right in my heart,' he said
peopleWe wince at anguish of fans, but his 1D departure shows the perils of fame in the social media age
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

Promises, promises

But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

The death of a Gaza fisherman

He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

The only direction Zayn could go

We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

Spells like teen spirit

A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

Licence to offend in the land of the free

Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

From farm to fork in Cornwall

One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

Robert Parker interview

The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

How to make your own Easter egg

Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

Cricket World Cup 2015

Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing