Cardiff City gave their promotion hopes a huge boost by beating Championship title hopefuls Leeds United 2-0 in a frenetic contest in the Welsh capital.
Junior Hoilett’s superb first-half goal after Kalvin Phillips lost the ball put Cardiff ahead before sub Robert Glatzel smashed home a second on 71 minutes.
Leeds were always in the contest and would have at least scored but for some excellent saves from Alex Smithies.
Leeds remain second in the Championship and Cardiff rise to seventh.
The Bluebirds are now level on points with sixth-placed Preston, who they visit next on Saturday, 27 June, while Leeds remain level with leaders West Bromwich Albion, seven points ahead of third-placed Fulham.
The contest between these two promotion-chasers began at a frenetic pace; far in excess of the tempo we have seen in most of the Premier League matches since football resumed after the coronavirus pandemic halted the campaign.
Indeed, but for the swathes of empty seats at the empty Cardiff City Stadium, you would never have known these teams had not played competitively for over three months as the visitors in particular started assuredly.
Marcelo Bielsa’s side had the better of the early running without making any clear-cut chances, though Leeds did appeal for a penalty when they felt Joe Bennett had impeded Helder Costa.
Defender Ben White headed over before Leeds’ big chance duly arrived on 32 minutes, but Will Vaulks did brilliantly to make a covering run and clear the ball off the line.
That let-off sparked Cardiff and from their very first shot on target they took the lead on 36 minutes with Leeds contributing hugely to their own downfall when the normally reliable Phillips gave the ball straight to Hoillett who ran at the Leeds defence before smashing the ball home from outside the penalty area.
The goal sparked a poignant celebration with Cardiff’s players honouring former Bluebirds Peter Whittingham, who died aged 35 in March.
Leeds were unlucky to be behind and could have levelled in first-half stoppage time, but their misfortune was summed up when striker Patrick Bamford accidentally blocked Jack Harrison’s goalbound effort.
Bamford almost made amends on the hour mark when his clever header across goal was met firmly by Tyler Roberts, but goalkeeper Alex Smithies made a fantastic point-blank save as he got across his goal to repel what seemed a certain equaliser.
Leeds were pushing for a leveller and they paid the price for over-committing as substitute Nathaniel Mendez-Laing intercepted the ball and found fellow sub Glatzel who controlled and fired a volley in off the post.