Barclays Premier League

Man City survive scare to win

2012-08-19 19:11
Samir Nasri and Yaya Toure (AP)

Manchester - Manchester City picked up where they left off last season as the English champions started their Premier League title defence by coming from behind to beat Southampton 3-2 on Sunday.

City were back in action at Eastlands for the first time since they clinched the club's first English title for 44 years with a sensational 3-2 victory over QPR on the final day of last season.

Roberto Mancini's side had trailed 2-1 before scoring twice in stoppage-time that day to pip Manchester United on goal difference and they had to recover from the same deficit to see off newly-promoted Southampton in another enthralling encounter.

Sergio Aguero had scored the winner against QPR, but memories of that glorious moment quickly faded when the Argentine striker was stretchered off within the first 15 minutes following a challenge from Southampton's debutant defender Nathaniel Clyne.

To make matters worse for City, they squandered a chance to take the lead in the 19th minute when David Silva's tame penalty was easily saved by Kelvin Davis after Carlos Tevez was tripped by Jos Hooiveld.

Argentina striker Tevez did open the scoring in the 40th minute, firing past Davis at his near-post despite Southampton's appeals for offside.

However, Saints striker Rickie Lambert, surprisingly left on the bench after a prolific role in helping Southampton end their seven-year exile from the top flight, came on to curl in the equaliser in the 59th minute.

Southampton were on course for a stunning win when former Rangers midfielder Steven Davis marked his debut by slotting home in the 68th minute after Jack Rodwell's misplaced pass put City in trouble.

But Bosnian striker Edin Dzeko equalised four minutes later and French midfielder Samir Nasri completed City's latest escape act with a fine finish after a poor header from Saints defender Danny Fox in the 80th minute.

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