Blackburn Rovers 1-1 Cardiff City
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."
- 4KilgallonSubstituted forWilliamsonat 45'minutes
- 6LoweBooked at 30mins
- 5HudsonBooked at 80mins
- 2BrayfordBooked at 45mins
- 20DaehliSubstituted forAdeyemiat 55'minutes
- 9JonesSubstituted forBurgstallerat 70'minutesBooked at 86mins
- 10Le FondreSubstituted forWolff Eikremat 87'minutes
- 13Kim Bo-kyung
- 15Wolff Eikrem
- Andy Madley
- Shots on Target