Match ends, Cardiff City 0, Middlesbrough 1.
Kike scored after just 95 seconds as Middlesbrough beat Cardiff City to increase the pressure on boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer.
The Spanish striker slotted home Albert Adomah's cross from close range to inflict the second home defeat in four days on the Bluebirds.
Juan Cala fired City's best chance wide late on as Boro held on.
Cardiff left the field to a chorus of boos from some sections of the home crowd.
It was Boro's third away win in a row in the Championship following victories at Bolton and Huddersfield.
The result moves Aitor Karanka's side up to eighth in the table, four points above Solskjaer's team, who slip to 17th.
Cardiff's £5m signing Bruno Ecuele Manga made his debut in a bid to shore up a defence that leaked four second-half goals in Saturday's home defeat by Norwich.
But the former Lorient defender was caught cold shortly after kick-off. Adam Clayton's pass released Adomah and his cross found the unmarked Kike, who fired a low shot past goalkeeper David Marshall.
As Cardiff pushed for an equaliser, Middlesbrough looked to hit the Bluebirds on the break.
Adomah was a threat down the Cardiff left and caused Bluebirds' full-back Matthew Connolly problems with his pace and movement.
After nine minutes, he lashed a shot wide from the edge of the 18-yard box and shortly afterwards the Cardiff crowd vented their frustration at manager Solskjaer, booing him as he tried to get the ball to one of his players to take a throw in.
Despite pouring forward in numbers Cardiff failed to carve out any clear-cut chances in the first-half.
Cala's header over the bar from a Peter Whittingham corner was their best effort.
In fact, the visitors could have gone further in front when the ball broke to Adomah and Jelle Vossen in the six-yard area, but the pair hesitated, allowing Cardiff to clear.
Despite their increased effort after the break, Cardiff had keeper Marshall to thank for not falling further behind, as the Scot parried away Clayton's long-range effort.
Cardiff did not give up and continued to press, winger Anthony Pilkington beat several Boro defenders to get to the bye-line, but his cutback failed to find a team-mate.
With time running out, the hosts almost unlocked the Middlesbrough defence as Kenwyne Jones' header found Cala, but the defender fired his low shot wide.
Marshall was again called into action, rushing out to close down Clayton's shot following a late Middlesbrough break.
Boro survived seven minutes of injury time and Cardiff pressure to take all three points.
Middlesbrough boss Aitor Karanka:
"Kike has adapted well and he is scoring goals. He has quality, he wants to settle as soon as possible.
"We have a good squad and it is important for the new lads to settle in quick."
- 5Ecuele Manga
- 4Torres RuizBooked at 24mins
- 19PilkingtonSubstituted forGuerra Rodríguezat 73'minutes
- 20DaehliSubstituted forLe Fondreat 58'minutes
- 14MachedaSubstituted forGunnarssonat 45'minutes
- 10Le Fondre
- 15Wolff Eikrem
- 22Guerra Rodríguez
- 4AyalaBooked at 1mins
- 2DamiáBooked at 37minsSubstituted forNsueat 64'minutes
- 21VossenSubstituted forTomlinat 66'minutes
- 9KikeSubstituted forBamfordat 87'minutes
- Graham Scott
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Cardiff City 0, Middlesbrough 1.
Foul by John Brayford (Cardiff City).
Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Daniel Ayala.
Attempt blocked. Tom Adeyemi (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Cala.
Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Adam Reach.
Cala (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Albert Adomah (Middlesbrough).
Attempt missed. Patrick Bamford (Middlesbrough) left footed shot from more than 35 yards is too high.
Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Peter Whittingham.
Corner, Middlesbrough. Conceded by Bruno Ecuele Manga.
Attempt blocked. Adam Reach (Middlesbrough) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Lee Tomlin.
Offside, Middlesbrough. Adam Reach tries a through ball, but Patrick Bamford is caught offside.
Attempt missed. Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Javi Guerra.
Substitution, Middlesbrough. Patrick Bamford replaces Kike.
Attempt missed. Cala (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left. Assisted by Adam Le Fondre.
Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by George Friend (Middlesbrough).
Foul by Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City).