The Bluebirds fought out a draw against promotion favourites Fulham – and they really should have won this Championship clash.

Manager Neil Warnock will be devastated by the sloppy goal conceded by Cardiff City just before half-time.

They were ahead thanks to a Josh Murphy strike, but Cardiff failed to maintain their defensive discipline and the unmarked Aleksandar Mitrovic was left with a simple finish.

City, though can look back at this match with great satisfaction and should believe the can make an impact this season.

Fulham are hot favourites to earn automatic promotion and Cardiff made them look ordinary at times.

Neil Warnock named the same starting XI for the third successive Championship match, with Lee Tomlin providing the creativity in midfield.

City bossed the first half. Fulham started well and looked decent for five minutes, but the Bluebirds worked as a team and took control.

They took the lead through Josh Murphy and most were completely deflated when Fulham equalised.

City went ahead when Joe Ralls did well and then Aden Flint broke up a Fulham attack in convincing style. He won possession and slipped a sublime pass in front of Murphy.

The winger’s first touch wasn’t the best, but he then produced a clinical finish across the goalkeeper and into the far corner after 43 minutes.

City had played well during the first half and Fulham were fortunate to go in at half-time with the scores level.

The home team were pulled apart when Tom Cairney played a neat ball to Ivan Cavaleiro, who went for goal and picked out Aleksandar Mitrovic, who was left with a simple tap-in.

That was the fifth goal in five games the Fulham striker.

Former Cardiff midfield player Harry Arter was sent off for a second bookable offence after 68 minutes, when he threw himself to the ground after a challenge by Sean Morrison.

Fulham dominated possession until Arter was dismissed and then the Bluebirds took over with set pieces the main areas of danger. Fulham were under pressure for throw-ins and set pieces.

More than 22,000 spectators were at Cardiff City Stadium and City turned on the style against a team expected to run away at the top. They are certainly rated alongside Leeds United in the top two.

This was easily Cardiff’s best team performance of the season and captain Sean Morrison said: “We frustrated Fulham for large parts and it will come together for us.”