Here are the ratings for Middlesbrough's players from the Championship clash, which ended in a 3-1 defeat.
Pears, 6: Nice and vocal and had no chance with the first two goals. Made a decent save to beat away Ralls's long-ranger in the first half. Unlucky with the visitors' third.
Dijksteel, 5: His grave error in electing to challenge Tomlin and leaving Murphy free as Cardiff countered cost Boro in terms of the visitors' second goal. Substituted.
Fry, 4: A mistake let Glatzel in the clear in the first half and could not get to grips with the big forward. Beaten by Mendez-Laing in the build-up to Cardiff's third. Tough day.
Friend, 5: Difficult first half and could easily have been red-carded.
Spence, 6: A couple of half-chances and switched to the left in the first period. Work in progress.
Howson, 4: Could not inspire Boro and check the threat of Tomlin. Picked up his second yellow late on for a poor challenge on Vaulks.
Saville, 5: Could not make things happen.
Johnson, 5: Caught ball-watching for Cardiff's first goal.
Tavernier, 7: Cajoled quite a bit by Warnock and was comfortably Boro's best player over the course.
Roberts, 5: Failed to re-create the magic of Reading.
Fletcher, 5: Got no change out of Cardiff's backline.
Substitutes: McNair (Saville 58), 5: Little impact.
Coulson (Roberts 58), 7: Provided Boro with some badly-needed energy and urgency on left.
Assombalonga (Dijksteel 58), 7: Quality free-kick as he reached double figures for the season.
Nmecha (Fletcher 67), 6: Went close with a hooked half-volley and threatened more than Fletcher on the day.
Subs not used: Stojanovic, Wood, Wing.
Cardiff City: Smithies; Bacuna, Morrison, Nelson, Bennett; Mendez-Laing (Sanderson 72), Vaulks, Ralls (Bamba 90), Hoilett (Murphy 17); Tomlin (Pack 72), Glatzel (Ward 72). Substitutes unused: Etheridge, Flint, Smith, Paterson.