Cardiff City denied Neil Redfearn a result on his bow as Leeds United head coach as United’s poor record in the Welsh capital continued.
Redfearn’s appointment as first-team boss was confirmed by Leeds little over an hour before kick-off but three second-half goals condemned United to a 3-1 defeat.
Leeds have not won away in Cardiff since 1984 and they struggled to create chances against an organised City side.
Bruno Manga and Federico Macheda gave Cardiff a commanding advantage and Alex Mowatt’s 78th-minute reply failed to inspire a fightback.
Kenwyne Jones sealed the points late on to leave United without a victory in seven matches.
Cardiff controlled most of the match and forced the first save through a Peter Whittingham free-kick.
Jason Pearce earned his fifth booking of the season and a one-match ban by clipping Adam Le Fondre’s heels on 10 minutes but Marco Silvestri met Whittingham’s curling effort with a tidy stop.
Leeds took until the 20th minute to fashion a chance of their own as Tommaso Bianchi played Stephen Warnock down the left wing with a lovely pass from midfield.
The left-back picked out Steve Morison 10 yards from goal but the striker’s header sailed over the crossbar without worrying goalkeeper David Marshall.
Le Fondre then nodded a Whittingham corner into the crowd from a yard out as United’s defence struggled to keep him close while Marshall got down to stop a low effort from Souleymane Doukara.
Giuseppe Bellusci’s timely blocked then prevented Macheda from opening the scoring on the half hour and Le Fondre wasted a good headed opportunity shortly before the end of a goalless first half.
The balance of the match rarely changed and Cardiff threatened early in the second half with a volley from Whittingham cleared Silvestri’s goal but the contest eventually opened up as the hour approached.
City made the breakthrough on 60 minutes when Sean Morrison met Craig Noone’s long ball with a header across goal which an unmarked Manga nodded inside Silvestri’s left-hand post.
And the hosts made the game safe seven minutes last as Macheda beat Silvestri with a shot which struck the leg of Peace and looped over Silvestri.
Mowatt pulled a goal back when he collected Doukara’s pass, create space for himself and beat Marshall with a fine finish, but substitute Jones killed United’s impetus on 83 minutes by rolling the ball into an empty net after Silvestri and Bellusci collided with each other.
Cardiff City: Marshall, Brayford, Fabio, Ecuele Manga, S Morrison, Whittingham, Gunnarsson, Noone, Pilkington (Ralls 46), Le Fondre (R Morrison 81), Macheda (Jones 75). Subs (not used): Moore, Gabbidon, Connolly, Maynard.
Leeds United: Silvestri, Berardi (Byram 85), Bellusci, Pearce, Warnock, Bianchi (Sloth 76), Cook, Mowatt, Doukara, Antenucci, Morison (Dawson 69). Subs (not used): S Taylor, Cooper, Tonge, Montenegro.