Manchester City scored twice in the final 20 minutes to complete a 3-2 turnaround against newly-promoted Southampton at the Etihad Stadium.
Substitutes Rickie Lambert and Steven Davis put a dogged Southampton side 2-1 in front and wipe out Carlos Tevez’s opener for City.
But Samir Nasri spared City from an opening weekend upset by scoring an 80th-minute winner following Edin Dzeko’s equalizer.
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City had to cope without Sergio Aguero from the 14th minute after last season’s top scorer fell awkwardly following Nathaniel Clyne’s challenge. The Argentina striker went to hospital for a scan on his injured knee, but the results won’t be known for another two days.
City’s fortunes didn’t improve after Aguero’s injury. Even though Tevez won a penalty two minutes later, after falling to the ground under Jos Hooiveld’s challenge, David Silva’s tame spot kick was easily saved by Kelvin Davis.
Tevez found the target five minutes before halftime. He was fed through by Nasri and sneaked in front of Joe Fonte before sending the ball into the net at Davis’ near post.
The defending champion squandered chances to extend its lead after the break, with Gael Clichy sweeping the ball over, and David Silva hitting the crossbar.
City was made to pay for those misses when Lambert, last season’s top scorer in the second tier, scored his first top-flight goal.
Four minutes after coming off the bench, Lambert seized on confusion in the City defence and Joleon Lescott’s missed clearance to side-foot the ball past goalkeeper Joe Hart.
But City recovered from its sloppiness, with Dzeko blasting in the equalizer four minutes later.
Nasri secured the three points after Southampton left back Danny Fox inadvertently headed the ball to the France midfielder, who was booked for lifting his jersey in the goal celebration to reveal a t-shirt with the "’Eid Mubarak" greeting to mark the end of Ramadan.
"We deserved to win the game," Mancini said. "They didn’t have any chances in the first half and we had four or five incredible chances."
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