Dave Jones celebrated his 300th game as Cardiff City manager with a comfortable victory over in-form Championship promotion rivals Leicester City.
Michael Chopra and Aaron Ramsey passed late fitness tests and both scored as the hosts ended Leicester's five-match winning run to go third in the table.
Chopra fired Cardiff into an early lead from Jay Emmanuel-Thomas' cut-back.
Wales midfielder Ramsey added a second as he calmly guided in a low Kevin McNaughton cross past keeper Ricardo.
The win was a boost for the Bluebirds as the Welsh club were keen to respond to the weekend's defeat at fellow promotion hopefuls Nottingham Forest - their first league loss since New Year's Day.
And Leicester were one of the form teams in the English league with seven victories and a draw in the Championship since the turn of the year.
But the Foxes, who beat Cardiff 2-1 earlier in the season, were unable to complete their first double over their opponents for 49 years as they failed to replicate the kind of performance that has made them such a force of late.
Yet the visitors had the first chances as on-loan Everton striker Ayegbeni Yakubu had a shot well saved by Cardiff keeper Tom Heaton following good link-up play with Paul Gallagher.
Then on-loan Chelsea defender Patrick Van Aanholt went close for the visitors before Cardiff took control of a unexpectedly lethargic clash.
Chopra, who had been a doubt with an ankle problem, showed his value to Cardiff as his 21st-minute strike was a superb finish.
Dave Jones felt his Cardiff City side 'deserved the win'
Emmanuel-Thomas set up Cardiff's record signing with a low cross and the £4m striker swept the ball into the far bottom corner of ex-Portugal international keeper Ricardo's goal from 12 yards for his 10th goal of the season.
But Leicester responded positively as Sven Goran Eriksson's men looked to protect their unbeaten league start to 2011.
Jeffrey Bruma, Andy King, Paul Gallagher and Yakubu all failed to test Heaton's goal with long shots before a close-range Souleymane Bamba header from Gallagher's corner went wide.
Richie Wellens then tested Heaton with a blistering 20-yard strike just after the half-time interval but the former Manchester United goalie tipped the shot around the post.
Gallagher went within inches of levelling for Leicester as the Scottish forward whipped a free-kick around the Cardiff wall but the ball narrowly failed to creep inside Heaton's post.
However within minutes of Gallagher's close miss, Ramsey made the lead a little more comfortable for Cardiff as he calmly slid home McNaughton's pin-point low cross.
Emmanuel-Thomas set full-back McNaughton free down the left flank and his cross was coolly slotted by the on-loan Arsenal midfielder with his right foot from 15 yards out and just inside keeper Ricardo's left-hand post.
Leicester City boss Sven Goran Eriksson promises promotion fight
It was Wales star Ramsey's first goal since his comeback from a horrific double broken leg he suffered against Stoke a year ago this weekend.
Cardiff almost put the game out of Leicester's grasp with Emmanuel-Thomas testing Ricardo with a header from a Peter Whittingham free-kick before Jay Bothroyd had a shot blocked by Ben Mee.
The only sour note for Cardiff, who strengthened their Premier League push, was the suspected knee injury suffered late on by Olofinjana as the Nigerian midfielder was forced off and replaced by Jon Parkin.
Live text and stats
Tuesday, 22 February 2011
07 Whittingham yellow card
20 Olofinjana (Parkin 77)
08 Chopra (McPhail 53)
09 Bothroyd (Burke 71)
04 Van Aanholt
11 Dyer (Vassell 67)
19 Wellens (Abe 55)
07 Gallagher (Waghorn 55)
05 Miguel Vitor,
Ref: Danny McDermidAtt: 22,410
Attempts on target
Attempts off target
94:13 The referee blows for the end of the match.
90:00+0:31 Foul by Darius Vassell on Kevin McNaughton, free kick awarded. Tom Heaton takes the free kick.
90:00+0:02 Peter Whittingham concedes a free kick for a foul on Martyn Waghorn. Free kick taken by Ricardo Pereira.
90:00+0:02 Booking Peter Whittingham is shown a yellow card for unsporting behaviour.
87:39 Martyn Waghorn challenges Tom Heaton unfairly and gives away a free kick. Tom Heaton takes the free kick.
87:10 Jay Emmanuel-Thomas takes a shot. Blocked by Souleymane Bamba.
85:57 Foul by Ben Mee on Jon Parkin, free kick awarded. Aaron Ramsey takes the free kick.
85:15 Patrick Van Aanholt takes a shot. Save by Tom Heaton.
80:42 Effort from outside the penalty box by Chris Burke goes wide right of the goal.
78:26 Jon Parkin takes a shot. Save by Ricardo Pereira.
77:51 The referee blows for offside against Darius Vassell. Indirect free kick taken by Tom Heaton.
77:30 Aaron Ramsey gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Patrick Van Aanholt. Patrick Van Aanholt restarts play with
the free kick.
76:38 Substitution Seyi Olofinjana goes off and Jon Parkin comes on.
73:29 Jeffrey Bruma fouled by Seyi Olofinjana, the ref awards a free kick. Jeffrey Bruma restarts play with the free kick.
72:40 The referee blows for offside. Indirect free kick taken by Tom Heaton.
71:41 Martyn Waghorn takes a outswinging corner from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Mark Hudson.
70:48 Jay Emmanuel-Thomas is caught offside. Souleymane Bamba takes the indirect free kick.
70:09 Substitution Chris Burke is brought on as a substitute for Jay Bothroyd.
67:22 Unfair challenge on Yuki Abe by Seyi Olofinjana results in a free kick. Direct free kick taken by Kyle Naughton.
Correction - 66:39 Free kick awarded for a foul by Yuki Abe on Kevin McNaughton. Tom Heaton takes the free kick.
Correction - 66:39 Substitution Lloyd Dyer leaves the field to be replaced by Darius Vassell.
66:39 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Kevin McNaughton by Yuki Abe. Free kick taken by Tom Heaton.
66:39 Substitution Darius Vassell comes on in place of Lloyd Dyer.
63:55 Jay Bothroyd is caught offside. Indirect free kick taken by Ben Mee.
62:56 Inswinging corner taken by Peter Whittingham, Seyi Olofinjana produces a header from inside the area that goes over the bar.
61:33 Stephen McPhail gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Martyn Waghorn. Martyn Waghorn restarts play with the free
60:59 Jay Bothroyd takes a shot. Ben Mee gets a block in.
55:55 Free kick awarded for a foul by Souleymane Bamba on Jay Bothroyd. A cross is delivered by Peter Whittingham, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas
takes a shot. Save made by Ricardo Pereira.
54:46 Substitution Yuki Abe comes on in place of Richie Wellens.
54:46 Substitution Martyn Waghorn on for Paul Gallagher.
53:23 Stephen McPhail challenges Jeffrey Bruma unfairly and gives away a free kick. Paul Gallagher takes the direct free kick.
53:00 Stephen McPhail concedes a free kick for a foul on Lloyd Dyer. Direct free kick taken by Richie Wellens.
Correction - 52:12 Substitution Stephen McPhail replaces Michael Chopra.
52:12 Substitution Stephen McPhail joins the action as a substitute, replacing Michael Chopra.
51:14 Assist on the goal came from Kevin McNaughton.
51:14 GOAL - Aaron Ramsey:Cardiff 2 - 0 Leicester Aaron Ramsey finds the back of the net with a goal from inside the box to the bottom left corner of the goal. Cardiff 2-0
49:15 Lloyd Dyer challenges Dekel Keinan unfairly and gives away a free kick. Tom Heaton takes the direct free kick.
47:29 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Ayegbeni Yakubu by Mark Hudson. Direct strike on goal from the free kick comes
in from Paul Gallagher.
46:33 Short corner taken by Paul Gallagher.
46:19 Shot from 20 yards by Richie Wellens. Tom Heaton makes a save.
45:01 The referee blows his whistle to start the second half.
45:00+1:06 The half-time whistle blows.
44:58 Kyle Naughton takes a shot. Blocked by Aaron Ramsey.
Correction - 43:44 Ben Mee challenges Jay Bothroyd unfairly and gives away a free kick. Free kick crossed by Peter Whittingham, save made by
43:44 Free kick awarded for a foul by Ben Mee on Jay Bothroyd. Peter Whittingham restarts play with the free kick.
41:36 Paul Gallagher takes the inswinging corner, clearance by Mark Hudson.
40:58 Jay Bothroyd gives away a free kick for an unfair challenge on Jeffrey Bruma. Ben Mee takes the direct free kick.
40:24 Ayegbeni Yakubu produces a left-footed shot from just outside the box that goes wide right of the target.
36:47 Corner taken by Paul Gallagher, Close range headed effort by Souleymane Bamba goes wide of the left-hand post.
36:38 Paul Gallagher takes a shot. Paul Quinn gets a block in.
35:37 Effort from the edge of the area by Andy King goes wide of the right-hand upright.
29:54 Shot by Jeffrey Bruma from outside the box goes high over the target.
26:33 The assistant referee signals for offside against Souleymane Bamba. Free kick taken by Tom Heaton.
25:55 Corner taken right-footed by Paul Gallagher, Jay Emmanuel-Thomas makes a clearance.
24:03 Peter Whittingham concedes a free kick for a foul on Paul Gallagher. Patrick Van Aanholt takes the direct free kick.
21:56 Jeffrey Bruma challenges Aaron Ramsey unfairly and gives away a free kick. Mark Hudson takes the free kick.
20:37 Jay Emmanuel-Thomas provided the assist for the goal.
20:37 GOAL - Michael Chopra:Cardiff 1 - 0 Leicester Goal scored by Michael Chopra from deep inside the penalty box to the bottom right corner of the goal. Cardiff 1-0 Leicester.
18:31 Patrick Van Aanholt takes a shot. Tom Heaton makes a save.
16:07 Paul Gallagher takes a shot. Tom Heaton makes a save.
11:03 Jeffrey Bruma concedes a free kick for a foul on Seyi Olofinjana. Mark Hudson takes the free kick.
10:07 The official flags Jay Bothroyd offside. Ricardo Pereira takes the direct free kick.
6:07 Inswinging corner taken right-footed by Richie Wellens from the left by-line to the near post, clearance by Mark Hudson.
3:28 Free kick awarded for an unfair challenge on Jay Bothroyd by Ben Mee. Direct free kick taken by Aaron Ramsey.
1:19 The referee blows for offside against Michael Chopra. Ricardo Pereira takes the indirect free kick.
0:27 The referee blows for offside against Michael Chopra. Free kick taken by Ben Mee.
0:00 The game begins.
Live text and data provided by The Press Association.
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