Match ends, Derby County 1, Cardiff City 1.
Derby's Scott Malone scored against his former club and Robert Glatzel struck his first goal for Cardiff City in an enthralling draw at Pride Park.
Rams defender Malone scrambled the ball home from close range after a frenetic start as Jack Marriott and Martyn Waghorn had chances cleared.
German striker Glatzel powered in a penalty soon after to punish Richard Keogh for bringing him down in the box.
It left the Rams without a win in four home league games under Phillip Cocu.
Cardiff rose a place to 12th in the table after a third successive draw following an occasion on which there was drama before the game as well as during it as the stadium was evacuated amid reports of flares being discovered in the away concourse.
Players' warm-ups were also disrupted, but the game kicked off on time and sparked into early life with Malone's goal.
Cardiff halted, but did not clear an early attack in which Marriott and Waghorn were thwarted before Malone pounced on Alex Smithies' parried save to nudge home.
However, Glatzel levelled from the spot with a thumping effort with Derby still seething after being denied a penalty of their own when Waghorn appeared to be fouled in the Cardiff box by Joe Bennett.
After Glatzel struck back, Malone saw Smithies easily deal with his volley and at the other end, Joe Ralls was denied to leave the scores level at the break.
The crossbar denied Marriott's dipping attempt to break the deadlock for the hosts.
Waghorn was also blocked by Smithies after he ghosted through the visiting defence before his low shot went wide.
Having struggled to impose themselves after the break, the introductions of Junior Hoilett and Nathaniel Mendez-Laing on the hour lifted the Bluebirds.
Hoilett went close at the near post only to stumble on another attempt and Wales' Tom Lawrence lofted a shot high for the Rams.
Glatzel then saw a header cleared off the line by Derby centre-back Matt Clarke and while both teams continued to attack, the breakthrough eluded them.
Derby County manager Phillip Cocu told BBC Radio Derby:
"Even as the game proceeded at 1-1, we still tried to find a way to play forward and play through Cardiff with low passes from the back.
"It's just unfortunate that we couldn't score the goal in the second half that we deserved for our performance and for the fans.
"It was a clear penalty on Martyn Waghorn and a clear possibility to score a second goal.
"We've talked many times about if you can score a second goal at home, the game is done. But we couldn't convert the chances we created, which is a pity as our offensive play deserved to be rewarded."
Cardiff City boss Neil Warnock said:
"I think the quality in the final third let us down again tonight. I thought that was the same in one or two games.
"But on the other side of the coin we lost at Wigan and Reading and defensively we were poor.
"So it's a matter of trying to build slowly and try and get together and make sure that we're solid and I thought we looked solid tonight."
- 6KeoghBooked at 18mins
- 23HolmesSubstituted forJozefzoonat 81'minutes
- 10LawrenceBooked at 88mins
- 14MarriottSubstituted forMartinat 86'minutes
- 2PeltierBooked at 40mins
- 5FlintBooked at 90mins
- 20WhyteSubstituted forMendez-Laingat 60'minutes
- 11MurphySubstituted forHoilettat 60'minutes
- 9GlatzelSubstituted forBogleat 89'minutes
- Darren England
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, Derby County 1, Cardiff City 1.
Attempt blocked. Chris Martin (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked.
Aden Flint (Cardiff City) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Martyn Waghorn (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Aden Flint (Cardiff City).
Attempt blocked. Nathaniel Mendez-Laing (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Omar Bogle.
Foul by Chris Martin (Derby County).
Aden Flint (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Attempt missed. David Junior Hoilett (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses to the left. Assisted by Omar Bogle.
Attempt blocked. Leandro Bacuna (Cardiff City) right footed shot from outside the box is blocked. Assisted by Joe Ralls.
Martyn Waghorn (Derby County) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Callum Paterson (Cardiff City).
Substitution, Cardiff City. Omar Bogle replaces Robert Glatzel.
Tom Lawrence (Derby County) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by Tom Lawrence (Derby County).
Sean Morrison (Cardiff City) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Substitution, Derby County. Chris Martin replaces Jack Marriott.
Attempt missed. Tom Lawrence (Derby County) right footed shot from outside the box is just a bit too high from a direct free kick.
Florian Jozefzoon (Derby County) wins a free kick in the attacking half.