Rotherham United suffered Championship humiliation at the hands of former boss Neil Warnock as they crashed to their heaviest defeat of the season at Cardiff City.
The Millers deserved what they got as they turned in an embarrassing display against the manager who saved their second-tier status last season.
There will be no escape this term for the division's bottom club who are 15 points adrift of safety with just 13 games remaining.
Rotherham were missing key men but could have no excuse for being beaten so comfortably in their 16th away loss of the campaign.
Paul Warne's patched-up side fell behind to the first chance of the game, when Kadeem Harris curled an 11th-minute, 18-yard effort past goalkeeper Richard O'Donnell's left hand.
Centre-half Richard Wood was on hand in the 27th minute to clear off the line following a Harris shot and, five minutes before the interval, O'Donnell saved smartly with his feet after Kenneth Zohore's turn and low strike.
But the visitors trailed 2-0 in time added on at the end of the half as substitute Junior Hoilett latched on to Ben Purrington's intended back-pass and slotted the ball home moments after coming on for Rhys Healey.
Dexter Blackstock was up front in place of the injured Danny Ward and was substituted early in the second half after failing to make any impression on the Bluebirds' back four.
By then, the Millers were four behind as a Craig Noone volley and a finish from a tight angle by Zohore added to their misery.
A classy Zohore lob on the run in the 83rd minute completed the rout.
Rotherham made four changes to the team which lost 3-2 in time added on at home to Huddersfield Town in midweek.
Striker Ward missed out because of a calf problem, so Blackstock made his first start since January 7, and there was a debut at centre-half for Joel Ekstrand, while Richie Smallwood and Joe Mattock came into midfield.
Central defender Moses Ajayi and midfield man Tom Adeyemi, both ineligible against their parent club, and centre-forward Jerry Yates were the players to make way.
As the goals went in at one end, the Millers failed to muster a single effort on target during a performance as poor as any in their season of woe.
Cardiff City (4-2-3-1): McGregor; Connolly, Bamba, Morrison, Richards; Gunnarsson, Ralls; Noone (Pilkington 72), Healey (Hoilett 45), Harris (John 80); Zohore. Subs not used: Murphy, Whittingham, Bennett, Halford.
Rotherham United: (4-1-4-1): O'Donnell; Kelly, Ekstrand (Belaid 68), Wood, Purrington; Smallwood; Taylor, Vaulks, Newell, Mattock (Forde H-T); Blackstock (Yates 59). Subs not used: Bilboe, Fisher, Bray, Warren.
Goals: Harris 11, Hoilett 45+2, Noone 49, Zohore 54, 83 (Cardiff).
Referee: Jeremy Simpson (Lancashire).