Etienne Esajas inspired Sheffield Wednesday to their first Championship victory in four attempts as they edged past 10-man Cardiff 3-1.
The Welsh side were returning to a sun-drenched Hillsborough for the first time since seeing their play-off dreams shattered in South Yorkshire on the final day of last season.
And they got off to a nightmare start when the impressive Esajas found the net for the Owls with an inch-perfect free-kick after just four minutes.
Peter Whittingham levelled from the penalty spot in the 16th minute after Michael Chopra was brought down by Wednesday keeper Lee Grant. Esajas turned provider three minutes into the second half when he crossed for Varney to head home.
And after Joe Ledley saw red for a second bookable offence, Esajas found an unmarked Leon Clarke who volleyed home.