Middlesbrough ended Cardiff's nine-match unbeaten away run this afternoon to rekindle their push for the Championship playoffs.
Cardiff pulled a goal back through Aron Gunnarsson and pushed for an equaliser late on but Boro held on.
Here, Sports Mole dissects an entertaining game of football in the North East.
On target 5
On target 6
Was the result fair?
Yes. Cardiff may have made a late charge for an equaliser but over the 90 minutes Middlesbrough did deserve the victory.
After two home losses already this week, a visit from the league leaders was the last thing ailing Middlesbrough needed. However, Tony Mowbray's side were superb, especially in the first half. They created good chances and took two of them before threatening a third. Ameobi was composed and menacing on the ball while the central duo of Grant Leadbitter and Josh McEachran pulled the strings. The defending from the home side at the end was last-ditch but good last-ditch as they held on for a crucial three points.
Malky Mackay's side began confidently but found themselves behind when Dyer was allowed to drift into the area unmarked to tap home. This buoyed Boro and they took over, soon they had a second and Cardiff's task was made ever so tough. Craig Bellamy wasted a decent chance before the interval and they did then come out much better after half time. Gunnarsson's equaliser came in plenty of time for the visitors to find an equaliser and they almost did in a frantic finish.
Sports Mole's man of the match
Sammy Ameobi: The winger was making his Boro debut and certainly will have won the affections of the Riverside faithful. His goal was one of pure class as he sidestepped a pair of challenges before powerfully bending past David Marshall. He came off 15 minutes from the end but still wins our man of the match award.
Mark Haywood had a solid game and didn't really put a foot wrong.
Boro: Next up for Mowbray's men is a trip to lowly Huddersfield Town on Tuesday.
Cardiff: The Bluebirds, meanwhile, are up against Derby County in midweek.