Following a heroic fight-back from the Bluebirds, Barnsley's last minute sucker punch secured a 4-3 win for the visitors at Cardiff City Stadium.
City took the game to the opposition from the off and inside the first three minutes, earned a corner. Peter Whittingham sent in a trademark delivery straight into the path of Sean Morrison, who rose highest to head the ball home.
However, Barnsley found an equaliser before the twenty minute mark, as Connor Hourihane put in a looping cross that Sam Winnall headed expertly into the far corner, with Ben Amos stranded.
City responded well to conceding and immediately went looking to restore their lead. A mix up at the back for Barnsley presented Junior Hoilett with an excellent opportunity in the box, however, the Canadian fired his shot just wide of ‘keeper Adam Davies’ post.
After City earned one of several corners half an hour in, the Bluebirds failed to deal with another Barnsley breakaway. Sam Morsy found Winnall in the box and the striker calmly placed his finish past Amos for his second of the game, making it 2-1 to the visitors.
Kenneth Zohore, who had a fine game, then drew a remarkable save from Davies when his header was acrobatically tipped over the bar, while the Bluebirds had several penalty appeals denied.
Just before half time, City were then stung on the counter once again, as the Tykes raced up the pitch. Amos rushed out to try and smother the ball, but it was squared to Josh Scowen, who tapped into an empty net.
The Bluebirds began the second half well and nearly scored inside the opening minute when Hoilett smashed Anthony Pilkington’s cross against the post.
City were on top for much of the half and had a number of opportunities, but had to wait until the seventy-ninth minute for a goal. The ball dropped to Whittingham on the edge of the box, and City’s no.7 struck a trademark left-footed effort, which deflected into the top corner.
With only a minute of normal time remaining City then got the goal that their late pressure had deserved. Another Whittingham corner was sent into the box and Morrison got up well to head the ball down to Pilkington, who fired home from close range.
City came within inches of a winner as the impressive Zohore combined with Pilkington, before substitute Rickie Lambert struck just wide. However, there was to be a cruel twist in the tail when, in the dying seconds of additional time, Barnsley prodded home a heart-breaking winner through substitute Ryan Williams.
FULL TIME: CARDIFF CITY 3-4 BARNSLEY
Cardiff City: Amos, Peltier, Morrison, Manga, Connolly, Whittingham, Gunnarsson, Hoilett (Lambert 75), Noone (Harris 63), Pilkington, Zohore
Subs not used: Wilson, Bennett, Ralls, Immers, O’Keefe.
Barnsley: Davies, Bree, Roberts, Macdonald, Yiadom, Kent (Watkins 77), Morsey, Hourihane, Scowen, Bradshaw (Williams 90), Winnall.
Subs not used: Townsend, Kpekawa, Evans, Payne, Jackson.