There was late drama at Ninian Park as this all Welsh affair ended in a 2-2 draw.
Nathan Dyer had put the Swans in front early on and Roberto's side held on until nine minutes into the second-half when Michael Chopra levelled the scores.
On a very tense afternoon in south east Wales a late goal by youngster Joe Allen looked to have secured the points for the visitors but a dramatic injury-time penalty from Ross McCormack rescued a point for the hosts.
Alan Tate returned from an ankle injury to feature what could possibly be the final derby clash between the two sides at Ninian Park.
He replaced Fede Bessone at left-back while Nathan Dyer came in for Allen who has recently returned from international duty with Wales Under-21's.
Swans: Dorus de Vries; Angel Rangel (Albert Serran, 79'), Garry Monk (C), Ashley Williams, Alan Tate; Darren Pratley, Leon Britton, Jordi Gomez, Mark Gower (Joe Allen, 67'), Nathan Dyer (Gorka Pintado, 86'); Jason Scotland.
Not Used: Fede Bessone, Tom Butler.
Cardiff:Stuart Taylor; Kevin McNaughton, Darren Purse, Roger Johnson, Mark Kennedy (Eddie Johnson, 89'), Stephen McPhail, Joe Ledley(C), Paul Parry (Peter Whittingham, 67'), Jay Bothroyd, Michael Chopra (Gavin Rae, 81'), Ross McCormack.
Not Used:Tom Heaton (GK), Miguel Comminges.
The long wait for this fixture was finally over as Premiership official Mike Dean got things underway with a tense feeling at Ninian Park creating an electric atmosphere.
And that atmosphere transferred to the playing surface as both sides were on the offensive from the word go, the home side causing trouble in the box from a corner while Jordi Gomez had a shout for a penalty turned down following a fine counter attack involving Leon Britton, Jason Scotland and Mark Gower.
Gomez and Gower played a part in the games first clear cut attempt with 10 minutes played as the on loan Espanyol midfielder floated a corner to the back post where it was picked up by Gower, he cut inside and with a low drive forced a save out of Stuart Taylor.
But 60 seconds later it was first blood to the Swans as they broke the deadlock with a move that started right at the back; the ball was played out to Nathan Dyer out on the right-hand side, a neat-one two with Scotland allowed him to burst into the box for the return ball and, after taking a touch, slotted neatly past Tayloy from close-range.
Gomez, meanwhile, came close with two attempts in quick succession as the Swans dominated early possession - the first was a long distance free-kick which was sent straight into the arms of Taylor while a neat flick and a half volley inches over the top of goal followed moments later.
The home side responded with two quick chances of their own as Paul Parry forced Dorus de Vries into two saves while the same player shot wide after Ross McCormack's free-kick was parried by the Dutchman midway through the half.
They came even closer minutes later when Michael Chopra struck the foot of the post with a low drive while Jay Bothroyd forced de Vries into an excellent save from the follow-up.
Despite a few attacking flurries by the Swans into the home end it was Cardiff that were piling on the pressure and were attempting to cause the visiting defence problems. Play was halted briefly towards the end of the half as referee Mike Dean was struck by an object from the crowd but when play restarted the Swans held on to their slender lead until the break.
Half-Time: Cardiff 0 Swans 1
Cardiff started brightly at the start of the second-half but it was the Swans that went closest to grabbing the games second goal just four minutes in; Jordi Gomez's wicked half volley from distance was parried by Taylor to the feet of goalscorer Dyer, the pint sized winger squeezed the ball underneath the 'keeper only for it to be cleared off the line.
But it was the home side that found the net for the games second goal nine minutes in as a counter attacking move orchestrated by full-back Kevin McNaughton ended up picking out Jay Bothroyd at the back post, the former Arsenal winger beat the offside trap to cross for the unmarked Michael Chopra to tap home from close-range.
Roberto made his first change shortly after the hour when Joe Allen was introduced in place of Gower, allowing Gomez to move out wide while the Welsh Under-21 starlet slotted into the middle of the park.
Cardiff continued to apply the pressure and were awarded free-kicks in dangerous areas but were unable to trouble the Swansea defence, while the visitors continued to catch their hosts on the break but found Aston Villa loanee Stuart Taylor in good form.
Albert Serran was introduced for the final 11 minutes as he replaced Angel Rangel, who looked to have taken a knock, while goalscorer Dyer was taken off in place of Gorka Pintado for the last five minutes.
But with just two minutes to go substitute Joe Allen popped up with an inspiring run outside the box before launching an unstoppable strike into the bottom corner to send the Swans fans behind that goal into raptures.
That lead, however, lasted a matter of minutes as skipper Ashley Williams was penalised for bringing down Ross McCormack inside the area, referee Mike Dean pointed to the spot and McCormack picked himself up to slot past de Vries.
The action transferred straight back down to the other end where Alan Tate came extremely close to scoring a Swansea third but his wicked strike went inches over the top and Jay Bothroyd headed over the bar moments later in what was the final chance of the afternoon.