There was no suggestion of pressure on the City manager Dave Jones as his side dragged Leeds all over the park in the first half.
A makeshift back four of Naylor, McNaughton, Hudson and Quinn were rarely threatened in the opening 45 mins while Leeds were turned inside out by some slick City movement.
It was a moment of quick thinking and a quality pass from Peter Whittingham that set Craig Bellamy up for the opening goal. A short corner set up Whittingham and he played a slide rule pass to Bellamy who saw his sidefooted shot beat Schmeichel and go in via the defender on the line.
Former City keeper Schmeichel made two or three blocking saves from good City efforts but he never really looked a comfortable keeper. Leeds were reduced to a header over the bar and a blocked Ross McCormack free kick.
With players like the nippy Gradel in the side Leeds were always a threat on the break but they never really got close enough to create many decent chances.
A turning point in the game saw Leeds get an equaliser. The visitors made a double substitution and they were pressing Cardiff who had slipped back to their slow, sideways passing game where they made little progress and looked vulnerable. Heaton made a stunning point blank save but the ball found it's way to Snodgrass who's finish from 20 yards was class.
I feared City would fold but they weathered out the Leeds revival and from nowhere a stunning Peter Whittingham pass over 50 yards found it's target, Michael Chopra, who darted in to finsh past the exposed Schmeichel and send the crowd wild.
Leeds never really troubled City through the final 10 mins and four mins added time and when Andy D'Urso blew the final whisle it was mayhem.
Cardiff are back upto 2nd and Dave Jones has answered those asking for his head.
City get a mini league break now with atention turning to the FA Cup on Saturday when they visit Stoke City.