QPR claimed their first away victory in six attempts as they dispatched Coventry 2-0 to enter 2011 with a seven-point lead at the top of the npower Championship.
On-loan Tottenham full-back Kyle Walker hit the target 16 minutes into the second half only to see what would have been his first professional strike go down as a Keiren Westwood own goal as the ball came off the Sky Blues goalkeeper's shoulder.
Tommy Smith's header from a sublime Adel Taarabt cross then put QPR in a more commanding position to leave fellow promotion hopefuls City nursing a third successive defeat against fellow top-six sides.
Cardiff's automatic promotion hopes took a blow as Watford came from behind to pick up three home points with a thumping 4-1 win.
Hornets striker Danny Graham missed an early penalty but did score to cancel out Peter Whittingham's 16th-minute opener before goals from Marvin Sordell and John Eustace put the home side in control.
Cardiff ended 2010 in second place after Graham added a late fourth from the penalty spot.
Jermaine Easter's first goal for Swansea was enough to beat Barnsley 1-0 and ensure Brendan Rodgers' side ended a three-match winless run to move level on points with Cardiff.
Easter's 27th-minute close-range finish from Nathan Dyer's cross proved the difference between the two sides and provided a much-needed victory for the Swans.
Andy O'Brien's own goal in stoppage-time denied Leeds a return to the top two as Portsmouth twice fought back from two goals down to draw 3-3.
Leeds centre-back O'Brien deflected Pompey substitute Nadir Ciftci's 93rd-minute cross into his own net for his second own goal of the afternoon to hand the visitors an unlikely point. Simon Grayson's side extended their unbeaten run to 11 matches, but failed to capitalise on Cardiff's defeat at Watford and closed out 2010 in fourth.
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