Cardiff City started their return to the Championship with a point as the Football League season opened with a draw at Blackburn Rovers.

Kenwyne Jones headed Cardiff ahead in the first half at the far post, having had a close-range header saved earlier.

The hosts were level before the break as Tom Cairney sent a 25-yard strike into the corner.

Neither side could threaten in a scrappy second half as the sides shared the points.

Kevin Kilbane - BBC Radio 5 live

"I think Blackburn were the better side but it is difficult to call how the season could go for these sides after the first game.

"Cardiff will be happy with the draw and there were positive signs for Blackburn. They have enough quality in this squad to cause a few sides trouble this season."

Blackburn ended last season unbeaten in 12 league matches and, despite being unable to add significantly to the squad in the summer due to lack of financial clout, were looking to build on that momentum.

They thought they should have had a penalty in the opening minutes when former Bluebird Rudy Gestede headed against Mark Hudson's hand but a free-kick was awarded, which Cairney wasted.

Television replays suggested that the offence took place inside the area.

Cardiff, relegated from the Premier League in May, managed just three wins in 17 league matches under boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer last season.

But, despite having just two available centre-backs to choose from, they looked a threat from set plays, taking the lead when Jones was left unmarked to head through Paul Robinson's hands after Hudson flicked on Peter Whittingham's free-kick.

The lead lasted until six minutes before half-time when Blackburn, looking short of ideas, capitalised on Whittingham's slip and Cairney fired expertly home from 25 yards.

Gestede headed Craig Conway's cross just wide as Blackburn started to look the more dangerous at the start of the second period.

Gary Bowyer's men dominated the possession but rarely managed to create any meaningful opportunities, while Cardiff looked increasingly content with the point.

Solskjaer still hopes to add to his squad before the end of the transfer window and both sides will aim to be in the promotion picture after another 45 games.

Blackburn Rovers manager Gary Bowyer:

"I thought we deserved a bit more. We had a lot the ball against a team who have just come down from the Premier League. We should have had a penalty in the first minute. We scored an outstanding goal. Cardiff changed their shape, a compliment to us, and we can take a lot of confidence.

"For all of their possession, perhaps the disappointment is we didn't create many chances but they brought a million pound player on. What does that say?

"Everyone is spending money in the Championship and we haven't been able to do that due to financial fair play. Beg, borrow or steal, we will see if we can add a couple. I will have a conversation with the people above me, but I understand we do have to comply with financial fair play."

Cardiff City manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer:

"We defended our goal well, I was pleased with the performance and the attitude of the lads, particularly defensively.

"We have come away against a good team and dug out a good result. Kenwyne Jones worked really hard and is getting his fitness together.

"In the second half we didn't play well with the ball but we sorted out the problems that Tom Cairney, especially, caused us in the first half.

"This is going to be a relentless season. I need a centre back in. We have loads of experience in this league and we had to have this here. Very happy with a point against one of the favourites."

Kenwyne Jones's goal ended a personal drought of 551 minutes for Cardiff

Kenwyne Jones's goal ended a personal drought of 551 minutes for Cardiff

Players in action for Blackburn v Cardiff

Blackburn have not won their opening-day game of a season since 2010

Gunnar Solskjaer and Gary Bowyer

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is looking to guide Cardiff back to the Premier League at the first attempt

Lineup, Bookings (4) & Substitutions (4)

Blackburn Rovers

  • 01 Robinson
  • 14 Olsson
  • 05 Hanley
  • 04 Kilgallon (Williamson - 45' )
  • 15 Baptiste
  • 29 Evans
  • 10 Cairney
  • 06 Lowe Booked
  • 32 Conway
  • 11 Rhodes
  • 39 Gestede

Substitutes

  • 07 King
  • 08 Dunn
  • 12 Marshall
  • 16 Varney
  • 17 Williamson
  • 19 Taylor
  • 34 Kean

Cardiff City

  • 01 Marshall
  • 03 Fabio
  • 05 Hudson Booked
  • 16 Connolly
  • 02 Brayford Booked
  • 07 Whittingham
  • 20 Daehli (Adeyemi - 55' )
  • 17 Gunnarsson
  • 23 Maynard
  • 09 Jones (Burgstaller - 70' Booked )
  • 10 Le Fondre (Wolff Eikrem - 87' )

Substitutes

  • 12 John
  • 13 Kim Bo-kyung
  • 15 Wolff Eikrem
  • 18 Adeyemi
  • 28 Théophile-Catherine
  • 30 Burgstaller
  • 33 Moore
Ref: Andy Madley
Att: 15,625

Match Stats

Shots

12 6

On target

3 3

Corners

4 5

Fouls

6 14

Live Text Commentary

Full time

Full Time Match ends, Blackburn Rovers 1, Cardiff City 1.

90:00 +3:33 Full time

Full Time Second Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 1, Cardiff City 1.

90:00 +3:02

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Alex Baptiste.

89:37

Attempt missed. Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Tom Cairney following a set piece situation.

88:45

Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

88:45

Foul by Mark Hudson (Cardiff City).

87:30

Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

87:30

Foul by Mark Hudson (Cardiff City).

86:44 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Magnus Wolff Eikrem replaces Adam Le Fondre.

86:12

Attempt missed. Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Corry Evans.

85:31

Attempt saved. Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box is saved in the centre of the goal. Assisted by Rudy Gestede with a headed pass.

85:07 Booking

Booking Guido Burgstaller (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

84:55

Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the left wing.

84:55

Foul by Guido Burgstaller (Cardiff City).

81:20

Foul by Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers).

81:20

Matthew Connolly (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

79:17 Booking

Booking Mark Hudson (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

78:49

Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

78:49

Foul by Mark Hudson (Cardiff City).

77:34

Lee Williamson (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

77:34

Foul by Adam Le Fondre (Cardiff City).

76:57

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Grant Hanley.

76:12

Foul by Markus Olsson (Blackburn Rovers).

76:12

Adam Le Fondre (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

74:37

Foul by Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers).

74:37

Adam Le Fondre (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

74:05

Attempt missed. Guido Burgstaller (Cardiff City) left footed shot from outside the box misses to the right. Assisted by Nicky Maynard with a headed pass.

70:24

Foul by Corry Evans (Blackburn Rovers).

70:24

Adam Le Fondre (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

69:58

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Matthew Connolly.

69:17 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Guido Burgstaller replaces Kenwyne Jones.

65:48

Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

65:48

Foul by Tom Adeyemi (Cardiff City).

61:47

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by John Brayford.

56:19

Alex Baptiste (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

56:19

Foul by Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City).

54:40 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Cardiff City. Tom Adeyemi replaces Mats Daehli.

53:03

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Mark Hudson.

52:18

Markus Olsson (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

52:18

Foul by Adam Le Fondre (Cardiff City).

48:53

Attempt missed. Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) header from the centre of the box misses to the left. Assisted by Craig Conway.

47:30

Attempt missed. Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Jason Lowe.

46:36

Attempt blocked. Rudy Gestede (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Lee Williamson.

45:00

Second Half begins Blackburn Rovers 1, Cardiff City 1.

45:00 Substitution

Substitution Substitution, Blackburn Rovers. Lee Williamson replaces Matthew Kilgallon.

45:00 +2:11 Half time

Half Time First Half ends, Blackburn Rovers 1, Cardiff City 1.

45:00 +1:04 Booking

Booking John Brayford (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

45:00 +0:44

Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

45:00 +0:44

Foul by John Brayford (Cardiff City).

39:30 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Blackburn Rovers 1, Cardiff City 1. Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Jordan Rhodes.

35:45

Attempt missed. Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is just a bit too high. Assisted by Rudy Gestede.

33:03

Corner, Blackburn Rovers. Conceded by Fabio.

29:47 Booking

Booking Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.

29:27

Foul by Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers).

29:27

Aron Gunnarsson (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

26:16

Attempt saved. Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City) right footed shot from the left side of the box is saved in the bottom left corner. Assisted by Nicky Maynard.

24:18

Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the attacking half.

24:18

Foul by Fabio (Cardiff City).

19:47

Attempt saved. Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from the centre of the box is saved in the top left corner.

19:00

Grant Hanley (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick on the right wing.

19:00

Foul by Nicky Maynard (Cardiff City).

18:53

Attempt blocked. Jason Lowe (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Tom Cairney.

17:01 Goal scored

Goal! Goal! Blackburn Rovers 0, Cardiff City 1. Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City) header from very close range to the high centre of the goal. Assisted by Mark Hudson with a headed pass following a set piece situation.

16:27

Foul by Matthew Kilgallon (Blackburn Rovers).

16:27

Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City) wins a free kick on the right wing.

15:07

Attempt missed. Jordan Rhodes (Blackburn Rovers) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Rudy Gestede with a headed pass.

14:01

Attempt missed. Matthew Connolly (Cardiff City) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Peter Whittingham with a cross following a corner.

13:32

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Jason Lowe.

13:01

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Paul Robinson.

12:58

Attempt saved. Kenwyne Jones (Cardiff City) header from very close range is saved in the top centre of the goal. Assisted by Nicky Maynard with a headed pass.

12:19

Corner, Cardiff City. Conceded by Craig Conway.

10:55

Delay over. They are ready to continue.

10:40

Delay in match Peter Whittingham (Cardiff City) because of an injury.

9:15

Alex Baptiste (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

9:15

Dangerous play by Nicky Maynard (Cardiff City).

6:27

Attempt missed. Mark Hudson (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is high and wide to the left.

2:35

Foul by Adam Le Fondre (Cardiff City).

2:35

Craig Conway (Blackburn Rovers) wins a free kick in the defensive half.

1:47

Attempt blocked. Tom Cairney (Blackburn Rovers) left footed shot from outside the box is blocked.

0:46

Hand ball by Mark Hudson (Cardiff City).

0:00

First Half begins.

0:00

Lineups are announced and players are warming up.

Live data and text provided by our data suppliers