Cardiff had two players sent off in a nightmare first half as Coca-Cola Championship promotion rivals Sheffield United cantered to a 3-0 victory at Ninian Park.
David Cotterill fired the Blades ahead from the penalty spot in the 25th minute after Bluebirds defender Gabor Gyepes committed a professional foul on Darius Henderson, for which he was sent off.
The hosts were dealt another massive blow in the 33rd minute when striker Ross McCormack was sent off for a professional foul on Kyle Naughton. Substitute Jamie Ward headed in a killer second for the visitors shortly after the restart and Stephen Quinn fired in a third with three minutes remaining.
Cardiff went into the game with an outstanding record of 12 wins and only two defeats at Ninian Park this season, but they met their match in Kevin Blackwell's side.
Victory lifted the Blades to fourth spot but Cardiff should have opened the scoring inside the 10th minute.
Joe Ledley delivered an outswinging corner from the left flank and Gyepes sent his header wide of the mark.
United began to build momentum and took the lead when Gyepes hauled down Henderson and Cotterill did the rest from 12 yards to claim only his third goal of the season.
The Bluebirds suffered a major setback in the 33rd minute when McCormack was sent off for a professional foul on Naughton.
Within seconds of the restart, United sealed the points when Cotterill crossed from the right flank and Ward headed home from six yards out.
Quinn added the coup de grace in the 87th minute when he took a pass from Craig Beattie and rifled home left-footed from six yards.
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