Burnley came from two goals behind to secure a 2-2 draw with the Bluebirds at Cardiff City Stadium.
CITY SET THE TEMPO
After both sides had settled into the match, some snappy build-up play saw City carve out several early chances. First, Kenwyne Jones’s low shot was parried past the post by former Bluebird Tom Heaton, before Sean Morrison saw his header well saved by the returning ‘keeper.
Cardiff City débutant Tony Watt then almost had a dream start, as he picked the ball up, drove forward at the Clarets’ defence before directing his effort just wide of the post. Joe Ralls, who was directing the play from the centre of the park, then rifled over the crossbar, as the home side dominated the opening exchanges.
Russell Slade’s men were playing some excellent football as the rain poured down in South Wales. Ralls, Malone and Peter Whittingham were all involved in the next flowing move, before Craig Noone’s deflected shot was superbly saved by Heaton.
While the Bluebirds enjoyed the vast majority of possession, Burnley certainly had the players within their ranks to cause problems on the break. Indeed, they enjoyed their best spell of the match as Sky Bet Championship top-scorer Andre Gray tempted Marshall off his line and squared the ball to George Boyd, whose low drive was spectacularly cleared off the line by Matthew Connolly.
However, after Boyd had again fired over, City then struck to take an advantage going into the break. Ralls stood over an attacking free-kick and expertly swung the ball in for Aron Gunnarsson to head past Heaton for the half-time lead.
The downpour only intensified as the referee signalled the start of the second half. Gunnarsson was first to fire in an early effort before Morrison headed a cross from the lively Scott Arfield out for a corner.
CLARETS CLAW BACK
On sixty-four minutes, Slade’s men put themselves in a great position to defeat their high-flying visitors. The goal came from a corner, as Whittingham delivered the ball for Morrison to head home and double City’s advantage.
The Bluebirds appeared to be seeing the game out well in difficult conditions, as they limited their oppositions opportunities in the final third.
However, a tense finale was ensured when Claret substitute Rouwen Hennings struck past Marshall on 86 minutes. Then, as Sean Dyche’s men flooded men forward, a goal line scramble in the third minute of injury time saw the ball deflect in off Connolly to break City hearts.
FINAL SCORE: CARDIFF CITY 2-2 BURNLEY
Scorers: Aron Gunnarsson 41’, Sean Morrison 64’ | Rouwen Hennings 86′, Matt Connolly OG 93′
Cardiff City: Marshall; Peltier, Morrison, Connolly, Malone; Noone, Gunnarsson (O’Keefe 67), Whittingham, Ralls; Watt (Mason 61), Jones (Macheda 89).
Subs not used: Moore, Manga, Tamaș, Kennedy.
Burnley: Heaton, Darikwa, Duff, Keane, Mee; Boyd, Barton, Jones (Marney 67), Arfield (Hennings 76); Gray, Long (Taylor 56).
Subs not used: Gilks, Lowton, Ward, Kightly.