Bruce's men did not produce the performance or the goals that might have been expected against rock-bottom Leeds, but Nicklas Bendtner's 10th goal of the season - and his first of 2007 - ensured victory for City.

Bruce said: "What we have to guard against is this air that seems to have been about the place that we have a divine right to be top of the table and a divine right to go up because we were in the Premiership last year.

"There is no divine right."

Blues were grateful when a Richard Cresswell shot was cleared off the goalline by Stephen Clemence with Leeds manager Dennis Wise claiming it should have counted as a goal.

Wise said: "If we had got video evidence to call on we would be at least a point better off now but we have to work with what we have got.

"Clemence's standing foot was on the goalline, which means his kicking foot must have been behind the line.

"It was a goal, plain and simple."

City now hold a one-point advantage over nearest promotion rivals West Brom and Derby but defeat left the Elland Road club without a win from their last four fixtures, and four points adrift of safety with the worst goal difference in the division.

Luton boss Mike Newell was distraught after the Hatters twice surrendered the lead at Kenilworth Road as Norwich claimed a 3-2 win.

"It is bitterly disappointing," said Newell. "The players worked ever so hard and played some good stuff on a pitch that was not conducive to good football.

"It is a killer blow. We didn't deserve that outcome, given the effort we put in and the football we played.

The result left Luton just one point above the relegation zone.

Carrow Road chief Peter Grant has seen the pressure grow after only two wins in Norwich's last 12 league matches, but this win on the road - his team's first since their triumph at West Brom on November 11 - will have eased the strain.

The Scot said: "I think we deserved the win. We shot ourselves in the foot by conceding silly goals again, but my players have determination in abundance."

In League One, leaders Scunthorpe made a nervy start to their match at Crewe but ended the night 3-1 winners and nine points clear of nearest rivals Yeovil.

Luke Varney put Crewe ahead before a Billy Sharpe brace and a stunning Jermaine Beckford volley claimed victory.

New boss Roberto Martinez saw his Swansea side keep up their chances of making the top six with a 2-1 win over Rotherham.

Oldham lost ground to fellow play-off chasers Blackpool, who moved up to eighth with a 1-0 win at Boundary Park.

Doncaster and Yeovil, meanwhile, shared the spoils after a lacklustre goalless draw at the Keepmoat Stadium.

In League Two Chester were eight minutes away from overtaking opponents Hereford, who salvaged a 1-1 draw thanks to Alan Connell.

Meanwhile, Bristol Rovers upset the odds against local rivals Bristol City to book their place in the Johnstone's Paint Trophy final against Doncaster.