Cardiff's npower Championship promotion hopes took a blow as Watford came from behind to pick up three home points with a thumping 4-1 win over Cardiff.
Hornets striker David Graham missed an early penalty but did score to cancel out Peter Whittingham's opener before goals from strike partner Marvin Sordell and midfielder John Eustace put the home side in control.
Malky Mackay's side were not in action on Boxing Day after their trip to Ipswich was frozen out and the rest proved decisive as they overpowered a lethargic looking Cardiff.
Craig Bellamy was outstanding in the win over Coventry on Boxing Day but was rested as his troublesome knee struggles to cope with two games in three days.
And his pace and drive was sorely missed as Dave Jones' side ended 2010 in second place in the table after Graham added a late fourth from the penalty spot.