Leeds' 12-game unbeaten run came to an end at the hands of the last team to beat them as Cardiff eased the pressure on manager Dave Jones with a 2-1 win.
The fortunes of the two sides had differed since the Bluebirds left Elland Road with a 4-0 win on October 25, with Leeds avoiding defeat and Cardiff winning just three of their 11 games as Simon Grayson's men nosed ahead of them in the Championship table.
But Craig Bellamy, so often a scourge of Leeds in his Newcastle days, opened the scoring for Jones' outfit in the 10th minute and, after Robert Snodgrass had curled home a wonderful 59th-minute equaliser, Michael Chopra's opportunist strike won it for Cardiff with 11 minutes remaining.
Chopra ran on to an innocuous-looking long ball from Peter Whittingham and, for the second time in the game, the visiting defence dozed off, allowing the striker to prod home a winner.
Bradley Johnson forced Cardiff keeper Tom Heaton to tip his 30-yard drive around the post but Leeds could not fashion an equaliser.