Agony for Bromby as Leeds defender faces lengthy recuperation

The tense encounter at the Cardiff City Stadium was overshadowed by a sickening injury to Leigh Bromby.

The Leeds defender faces a lengthy spell on the sidelines after rupturing a tendon in his right knee after slipping awkwardly in the 28th minute.

Bromby required oxygen as he was carried off on a stretcher and his team-mates were visibly shaken by the horror fall.

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Leeds manager Neil Warnock said: “Leigh has ruptured his patellar tendon. He hasn’t gone to hospital because he won’t save anything now. He will have an operation next week.

“He will be out for a long, long time - I’d be surprised if he is back before Christmas. It could be a year. I’m gutted and disappointed for him because he has just come back in the team and done well.

“He was in agony and required oxygen because he had passed out. But the Cardiff fans were fantastic. They were very supportive straight away and the ref showed he knew what he was doing. I want to say a big thank you to everyone for the way they reacted.”

Luciano Becchio’s second-half equaliser ensured Cardiff’s hopes of making the play-offs for a third successive season will go down to the wire.

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Leeds striker Becchio headed home his 11th goal of the season in the 73rd minute to cancel out Joe Mason’s opener for Cardiff just before half-time.

It was no less than Leeds deserved for a spirited second-half display and Cardiff, unbeaten in their last nine matches, albeit with six draws, face a nerve-jangling last-day finale at Crystal Palace in their bid to make it a hat-trick of top-six finishes.

Alex Bruce, Zac Thompson and Becchio returned for Leeds.

Bluebirds midfielder Liam Lawrence had an early effort saved by Andy Lonergan, and at the other end Ross McCormack headed wide against his former club after good work from Robert Snodgrass.

Mason skewed his close-range effort off target as Cardiff sought an early breakthrough, but neither side created a further chance before Bromby was stretchered off in the 32nd minute and replaced by Paul Connolly.

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That setback appeared to distract the visitors and Cardiff caught them napping to take the lead four minutes before the break when Mason raced on to Peter Whittingham’s raking pass from inside his own half and held his nerve to lob the ball over Lonergan. City striker Kenny Miller was denied by Lonergan but Leeds began the second half with renewed purpose. Thompson’s shot was blocked by Ben Turner and Becchio headed wide before Ramon Nunez and Danny Webber replaced McCormack and Adam Clayton.

Lonergan produced an excellent save from Andrew Taylor before Becchio headed into the corner.

Cardiff City: Marshall, McNaughton (Blake 90), Taylor, Hudson, Turner, Whittingham, Lawrence, Gunnarsson, McPhail (Kiss 64), Miller (Earnshaw 90), Mason. Unused substitutes: Heaton,Ralls.

Leeds United: Lonergan, Bruce, Lees, Bromby (Connolly 32), Robinson, Clayton (Nunez 60), Pugh, Thompson, McCormack (Webber 59), Becchio, Snodgrass. Unused substitutes: Forssell, Taylor.

Referee: M Halsey (Lancashire).

Man of the match: Joe Mason.

Results and tables: Page 16.