A late Cardiff City comeback stunned Leeds United this afternoon, with Neil Harris’ side battling back from three goals down to draw 3-3 at Elland Road.
Leeds had raced into a two-goal lead within the opening eight minutes through Helder Costa and Patrick Bamford, with the latter’s penalty after 52 minutes extending that.
But, goals from Lee Tomlin, Sean Morrison and Robert Glatzel shocked Marcelo Bielsa’s side, who stay second in the Championship table.
Earlier in the day, Leeds had watched West Bromwich Albion come from behind to beat Birmingham City at St Andrew’s, with the Baggies moving back to the top in the process.
However, any fear that the result in the Midlands might deflate the Whites were put to bed early on.
Bielsa’s side were in a relentless mood, looking to extend this seven-match winning run. Pablo Hernandez dragged a shot wide of Neil Etheridge’s post inside the opening 60 seconds, with that setting to tone for a blistering attack on the Cardiff defence in the opening 10 minutes.
After Cardiff failed to test Leeds from a corner of their own, Leeds broke, as they do so well. Jack Harrison found Hernandez, with the Spaniard splitting the defence open with a through ball to find Costa. The Portuguese advanced into the area, making no mistake with his left-footed finish.
And, before Cardiff had chance to shake off that blow, Leeds were back for more; Harrison broke down the left, with his blocked cross falling the way of Stuart Dallas, who lifted the ball into the area for Bamford to bury for 2-0 after only eight minutes.
Dallas had two good chances to add to that, but fired his efforts high into the South Stand when the full-back should have perhaps done better.
The goals dried up as the half-hour mark passed, but Leeds were threatening to add to the scoreline every time they went forward, with Costa giving Joe Bennett a torrid time at left-back.
Harris watched his side waste good chances through Nathaniel Mendez-Laing and Danny Ward; whilst Hernandez fired an effort into the arms of Etheridge from a position on the edge of the area we’ve seen him find the net.
Cardiff’s woes were added to as Aden Flint was forced off as half-time approached, with Curtis Nelson tasked with diluting this fluid Leeds attack.
The Bluebirds managed that heading into the break, but Leeds’ fast start had put them in cruise control after 10 minutes.
Whatever respite Leeds had given Cardiff leading up to the interval, they were back for more blood as the second period began.
Luke Ayling scooped an effort into the Kop seconds into the half, but on 52 minutes, Bamford had a golden chance for 3-0 from the penalty spot after Etheridge had brought down the advancing Leeds attacker.
He converted, with Leeds looking to turn on the style for this Elland Road crowd.
Etheridge tipped a deflected effort from Mateusz Klich wide, but Leeds were coming forward relentlessly looking to add to their three goals as the hour approached.
The expected opening of the floodgates didn’t come, though, with Cardiff biting back.
Kiko Casilla, who has become so reliable for Leeds, flapped at a cross, with the ball breaking to Tomlin, who looped the ball over the covering defence into the far corner.
Bielsa’s men shook off their complacency once more from here, piercing the Cardiff defence and looking for another route past Etheridge.
However, the Cardiff threat remained, with Dallas blocking a Morrison header that was on target.
Hernandez failed to test Etheridge from distance as Leeds looked to restore their three-goal lead, with Bielsa still clearly feeling the need to put Cardiff to bed, turning to Eddie Nketiah from the bench.
And, another goal was needed, with Cardiff’s performance growing as the half ticked on.
Morrison had warned Leeds earlier with a headed effort, and on 82 minutes, he had Elland Road really on edge.
A free-kick was worked left to Bennett, who swung in an effort for the returning centre-back to bury.
The Cardiff skipper saw red minutes later, though, flying through Nketiah to earn himself an early bath.
However, Cardiff silenced Elland Road on 88 minutes, with substitute Glatzel getting the better of Pascal Struijk to bury an effort under Casilla for 3-3 after a stunning flick from Tomlin.
There was still time for Leeds to search for a winner as four minutes were added on, and when Nketiah lost his marker to meet a cross from the left, it took a fine Etheridge save to keep Cardiff level.
And that proved to be the last meaningful chance for Leeds to turn this game back in their favour, with Cardiff’s second-half comeback denying them an eighth consecutive win.
FULL-TIME: Leeds United 3-3 Cardiff City.