LiveBlackburn Rovers 1-1 Cardiff City as it happened

Summary

  1. FT: Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff
  2. First game of the new Football League season
  3. Kenwyne Jones heads Cardiff opener
  4. Tom Cairney hits cracking leveller
  5. Click Play button or 'Live Coverage' to listen

Live Reporting

By Gary Rose

Get Involved

So that was just a little taster of the Football League season ahead and we will be back to tuck into the main course on Saturday, with a whopping 34 games for us to digest.

Read the full report from tonight's game here and join us again tomorrow, with League One Sheffield United and Bristol City getting the day's action under way at 12:15 BST.

Cheerio.

Manager reaction

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Getty Images

Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer: "I thought we were the more dominant side. I'm disappointed with the manner of the goal we conceded, and we could have had a penalty in the first half.

"I though we recovered well, scored a fantastic goal. It was a great strike from a fantastic footballer in Tom Cairney, he can reach double figures this season.

"I thought the lads really looked like they enjoyed themselves. Again the supporters were magnificent, they cheered the lads on."

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Blackburn dark horses for promotion? They look a very tidy unit with some handy players and while they were lacking a bit of punch in attack tonight, Rudy Gestede and Jordan Rhodes are surely good for at least 30 goals between them?

Forster close to Southampton move

Some news to bring you from outside the Football League, and that is England goalkeeper Fraser Forster is on the verge of joining Southampton after the Premier League side agreed a fee, understood to be around £10m, with Celtic.

Forster travelled south on Friday after the clubs came to an agreement and the move will now go ahead subject to a successful medical over the weekend, with personal terms also agreed.

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

So Blackburn are top of the league, for 20 hours or so anyway as the rest of the Championship gets in on the act tomorrow. Ten games, with a full fixture programme in League One and League Two and we will have live text on all the action.

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

BBC Sport's Andy Cryer at Ewood Park: "Smiles all round as both teams leave the field reasonably content with their night's work. Cardiff were the better team in the first half, Blackburn the better in the second half and all in all a point was fair enough."

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Cardiff boss Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is sporting a beaming smile as he waves to the travelling Cardiff fans, and who can blame him?

Avoiding defeat in the opening game was no doubt hugely important for the Norwegian, with owner Vincent Tan not a man to hang around if things are not going to plan on the pitch.

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Former Wigan winger Kevin Kilbane on BBC Radio 5 live

"I think Blackburn were the better side. Once Cardiff got the goal they sat back a little too much and allowed Blackburn to dictate play but they did not really have any penetration. For all the possession they had, they did not really create much.

"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."

FULL-TIME

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

The corner comes to nothing and the referee has seen enough. Blackburn and Cardiff share the points and it is probably as fair result.

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

A late corner for Cardiff, though. Some late Friday night drama..?

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Three minutes of added time, but both managers seem pretty satisfied to take a point.

CLOSE!

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

We have not had much to shout about at all in this half, but Blackburn go close to snatching all three points as a free kick 20 yards from goal is rolled into the path of Craig Conway, but his rising effort is over the bar.

SUBSTITUTION

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Adam Le Fondre has been anonymous throughout this game and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has seen enough, taking off the striker for midfielder Magnus Wolff Eikrem. Two minutes left.

YELLOW CARD

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Cardiff's Guido Burgstaller earns himself a booking as he traps Craig Conway between his legs. Grant Hanley then has half a chance when he heads goalwards following the free-kick, but it is easy pickings for David Marshall.

TEN MINUTES TO GO

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Into the final 10 minutes at Ewood Park and it is difficult to see either side grabbing a second. Definitely some early season rustiness on show now.

YELLOW CARD

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Mark Hudson is the second Cardiff player to go in the book following a rash challenge on Rudy Gestede. Craig Conway sends the resulting free-kick into the area but over the heads of his team-mates and the ball bounces behind for a goal kick.

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

BBC Sport's Andy Cryer at Ewood Park: "The Rovers players are delighted to see the back of Kenwyne Jones. His withdrawal means Cardiff have lost their aerial threat and you could hear the cheer among the home fans as he wandered off. Not much going on at the moment as the fans entertain themselves with gestures - not friendly ones - and chants at each other."

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Grant Hanley heads a Cardiff free-kick behind to give the visitors a corner, which comes to nothing. After the first half promised so much, the second half has so far failed to deliver. Lack of an attacking threat from both sides at the moment.

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

First sight of what the new man Guido can do, but it is not particularly great. Nicky Maynard cushions a header into the path of the midfielder, who lashes a shot wide from outside the box to the sound of ironic wolf whistles from the home fans.

SUBSTITUTION

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer does indeed make a change as Kenwyne Jones comes off, with Austria midfielder Guido Burgstaller coming on for his competitive debut after signing for Cardiff in May.

That surely means Adam Le Fondre moves up alongside Nicky Maynard as a front two and we might finally see more from the former Reading striker.

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Blackburn are enjoying 70% of the possession with Cardiff rarely venturing out of their own half. Maybe time for Ole Gunner Solsjkaer to abandon three in attack?

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

BBC Sport's Andy Cryer at Ewood Park: "You can sense a bit of tension around Ewood as both sides know what a boost a winner would give but also the blow losing the game would bring. Stick or twist is the question and I'm not sure either side know which option to take."

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

This game has lost a bit of the rhythm it had in the first half, with both sides guilty of hitting one or two wayward passes. Craig Conway floats in a cross for Blackburn but Cardiff head clear, before Jordan Rhodes tries to hook a pass that comes behind him towards goal, but to no avail.

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

BBC Sport's Andy Cryer at Ewood Park: "There are 20 Rovers fans who have been given a golden season ticket after being nominated by fellow fans - Willy Wonka style. The club's way of re-engaging with the community. The only way of really achieving this though is success on the field."

Join the debate at #bbcfootball

Joe Walkley: You can't help but wonder why Hull let Tom Cairney leave, he is a quality player and a PL team will pick him up soon

SUBSTITUTION

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Cardiff make a change as midfielder Tom Adeyemi, signed earlier this week from Birmingham, comes on for his debut, replacing Mats Daehli.

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

The luminous orange boots of Marcus Olsson produce some dazzling skills on the left for Blackburn as the midfielder wrong-foots his marker to open up space for himself, he whips in a cross and Jordan Rhodes tries to get to it but he is beaten to the ball by a defender, who deflects behind for a corner.

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Cardiff keeper David Marshall is saved from a potential moment of embarrassment as Blackburn Rovers go close again. A deep ball is played into the area and Marshall comes off his line before dithering in no man's land. Rudy Gestede gets his head to the cross but sends the ball over Marshall and the Cardiff goal.

Marshall was one of the best keepers in the Premier League last season, but that was pretty rookie stuff.

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

John Brayford heads away with Jordan Rhodes lurking before Rudy Gestede fizzes an effort from distance over the bar as Blackburn Rovers make a strong start to this half.

KICK-OFF

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Blackburn make a change for the start of the second half as defender Matt Kilgallon, who took a knock in the first half, is replaced by midfielder Lee Williamson. Jason Lowe drops into defence as Cardiff get things under way.

The rest of the Football League joins the party tomorrow, before Wolves and Norwich rounds off the first weekend of the season when they face each other on Sunday.

Here are Saturday's games in the Championship:

Brentford v Charlton; Brighton v Sheff Wed; Derby v Rotherham; Huddersfield v Bournemouth; Middlesbrough v Birmingham; Millwall v Leeds; Nottm Forest v Blackpool; Nottm Forest Vs Blackpool; Watford v Bolton; Wigan v Reading (all 15:00 BST); Ipswich v Fulham (17:15 BST)

Jones' joy

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

BBC

Kenwyne Jones has been the main dangerman for Cardiff and he has linked up well with Nicky Maynard, but I've seen little of Adam Le Fondre. He's not the type of player you want to be sticking out wide.

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Former Wigan winger Kevin Kilbane on BBC Radio 5 live

"A brilliant pace to the game and the football season is back! An entertaining half with Blackburn in the ascendancy at the end."

HALF-TIME

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

All square at the break and a pretty fair reflection of the game. Cardiff have had the better chances but Blackburn have seen plenty of the ball and it is all set up nicely for an entertaining second half.

YELLOW CARD

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Cardiff's John Brayford earns himself a yellow card as he goes in heavy on Craig Conway with half-time approaching.

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff

Former Wigan winger Kevin Kilbane on BBC Radio 5 live

"He has been Blackburn's best player tonight and that is wonderful from Tom Cairney. He got the ball on to his left foot and it is a top class finish. Full credit to Jordan Rhodes for his part in the build-up too.

"I saw Cairney's development as a young player at Hull and he is a real talent. At times he was overweight but he is looking after himself better now and the benefits are there to see."

GOAL

Blackburn 1-1 Cardiff - Tom Cairney

What. A. Goal! Stunning stuff from Tom Cairney, Blackburn's player of the year last season, who brings the hosts level in spectacular fashion.

He picks up the ball around 25 yards from goal, scampers towards the area before curling a fine drive with his favoured left foot into the back of the net. Lovely stuff and now the Ewood Park faithful have found their voice.

Blackburn 0-1 Cardiff

Former Wigan winger Kevin Kilbane on BBC Radio 5 live

"Blackburn are playing some nice stuff but they haven't been able to get in behind Cardiff at all. The Cardiff back four will be very comfortable with what they have seen so far."

Blackburn 0-1 Cardiff

The Cardiff old boys nearly combine to bring Blackburn level as Rudy Gestede goes for the spectacular with an attempted overhead kick. He fails to connect properly though and instead the ball falls kindly for Craig Conway, who blazes over with a Cardiff defender distracting him just enough.

Blackburn 0-1 Cardiff

PA

Kenwyne Jones has not always been the most consistent of strikers but he has shown in this opening half an hour that he could be a real handful in the Championship.

There aren't many better celebrations around either...

PA

Blackburn 0-1 Cardiff

BBC Sport's Andy Cryer at Ewood Park: "Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer has yet to sit down all game. He is pacing up and down the technical area like an expectant father. As yet though his side are yet to deliver what he wants. Cardiff, despite being depleted defensively, look fairly comfortable and the Ewood faithful are getting a trifle agitated."

YELLOW CARD

Blackburn 0-1 Cardiff

Blackburn's Jason Lowe is the first man into the referee's book as he catches Aron Gunnarsson with a late challenge. A sense of frustration on the pitch and in the stands, with the home fans perhaps a little disappointed with their side's start.

Blackburn 0-1 Cardiff

Chance of a second for Cardiff and for Kenwyne Jones as the burly striker nods on a throw to Nick Maynard, who in turn sends the former Stoke man through. Jones, though, is too quick to take his shot and ends up scuffing a low effort into Paul Robinson's hands.

Blackburn play some lovely stuff going forward but they are not threatening enough in the final third at the moment.

Blackburn 0-1 Cardiff

Grant Hanley almost pokes in a sneaky equaliser with Blackburn's first response as he flicks a loose ball inside the area through a crowd of players towards goal. Cardiff keeper David Marshall is wise to the effort, though, and reaches out to pluck the ball from the air.

Blackburn 0-1 Cardiff

BBC Sport's Andy Cryer at Ewood Park: "Stunned silence around Ewood Park apart from the jubilant away corner as Kenwyne Jones heads the visitors ahead and their fans launch into a premature 'we are top of the league' chant.

"Rovers fans though quickly stir and a roar goes up around the home end to get their team up again. They know how important a good start to the season is if Rovers are to remain a club with a feel-good factor about them."

Blackburn 0-1 Cardiff

Former Wigan winger Kevin Kilbane on BBC Radio 5 live

"Kenwyne Jones is a player with the ability to score at least 15 times a season for you. He has tremendous aerial ability and you cannot afford to live him unmarked like that. Ole Gunnar Solskjaer is delighted."

GOAL

Blackburn 0-1 Cardiff - Kenwyne Jones

Great start for Cardiff and for manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer as the visitors take the lead courtesy of a thumping header from Kenwyne Jones. Peter Whittingham sends the ball into the area, Mark Hudson heads on towards the far post where Jones gets in ahead of a defender to power in the first Championship goal of the season.

Blackburn 0-0 Cardiff

Jordan Rhodes is not a man you give a sniff of goal and he almost punishes some lazy Cardiff defending as he is afforded space on the edge of the area, allowing him to hit a sweetly-struck effort that dips just over the bar.

GREAT SAVE!

Blackburn 0-0 Cardiff

Great work from Blackburn's veteran keeper Paul Robinson as he keeps out a header from Kenwyne Jones! Peter Whittingham swings in the corner and Nick Maynard heads it back into the dangerzone for Jones to direct a header goalwards, only for Robinson to scoop the ball over his own bar.

Matt Connolly heads just over from another corner soon after and Blackburn look a little vulnerable from set pieces.

Blackburn 0-0 Cardiff

Blackburn Rovers debutant Alex Baptiste makes himself known with a nasty challenge on Peter Whittingham, sticking his studs right on top of the Cardiff man's foot. The visitors get a free-kick, but Baptiste escapes a booking.

Blackburn 0-0 Cardiff

Cardiff's front three of Nicky Maynard, Kenwyne Jones and Adam Le Fondre are yet to really show their hand in these early stages. Le Fondre, in particular, is looking a little uncomfortable wide right. Wasted out there?

All pretty scrappy at the moment as both teams test each other out.

Blackburn 0-0 Cardiff

Former Wigan winger Kevin Kilbane on BBC Radio 5 live

"Every single year this division gets harder. Look at Fulham spending £11m on Ross McCormack. Burnley got promoted last season which was a wonderful story and it gives hope to teams without those big budgets."

Blackburn 0-0 Cardiff

Just seen a replay of that handball by Mark Hudson and it was just inside the area. A lucky escape for Cardiff.

Wonder what recently retired referee Howard Webb, who is watching on in the stands, made of that?

Blackburn 0-0 Cardiff

Early free-kick in a promising position for Blackburn as Mark Hudson handles Rudy Gestede's header just outside the area. Tom Cairney takes the set-piece, pretty much dead centre, but smacks the ball straight into the Cardiff wall.

KICK-OFF

Blackburn 0-0 Cardiff

Blackburn Rovers get this game under way and the 2014-15 Football League season is up and running. It feels like football has never been away doesn't it?

Blackburn v Cardiff (19:45 BST)

Out come the players to a decent reception from the fans inside the stadium. Lots of the home supporters are waving inflatable zebras, which appears to be related to their main shirt sponsors. A quick group huddle from the players and the first kick of the new season just moments away...

Blackburn v Cardiff (19:45 BST)

BBC Radio 5 live

Blackburn manager Gary Bowyer on Radio 5 live: "We have asked the players to focus on what we did well last season. We want to improve and that is the challenge for us all. The season is about continually getting better.

"It's a long season, a tough old division and this season it's the hardest it has ever been. Teams who have come down have spent a lot of money, we are aware of the challenge and we are ready for it.

"It's better than not watching football isn't it?"

Join the debate at #bbcfootball

Ryan: The Championship season won't have any run away leaders like Leicester last season, it'll be very close come 2nd May 2015

Ned Thomas: This will be a disaster, or a piece of tactical genius by Ole Gunnar Solskjaer

Rob of the Robots: No defenders on the Blackburn bench is concerning. Tom Cairney is wasted out wide too, but it's early days yet let's see.

Nice use of 'early days yet' Rob. Five minutes before the season has even started...

Blackburn v Cardiff (19:45 BST)

Former Wigan winger Kevin Kilbane on BBC Radio 5 live

"I played alongside Jordan Rhodes so I know how good he is. He reminds me of John Aldridge. He has great movement and if he gets the ball inside the box he generally scores.

"The one question mark over his future in terms of playing in the Premier League would be his all-round game. Other than scoring, he doesn't offer a lot which may sound odd but at the top level you have to offer more."

Who will win the title?

Throughout Friday we were building up to the new Football League season in Sportsday, with readers voting for who they think will win the Championship, League One and League Two.

Derby were backed to win the Championship, with Sheffield United fancied for the League One title and Portsmouth predicted to finish top of the pile in League Two.

Vote results in full:

Championship: 16.8% Derby 14.3% Fulham 9.1% Cardiff 8.5% Wigan 6.6% Norwich

League One: 22.2% Sheffield United 9.5% Leyton Orient 8.8% Preston 7.1% Bristol City 7% Peterborough

League Two: 16.8% Portsmouth 9.8% Luton 8.3% AFC Wimbledon 6% Bury 5.7% Southend

You can read more from Sportsday, which includes stats and team previews here