MANCHESTER, United Kingdom, - Manchester City launched their Premier League title defence in familiar fashion as the champions came from behind to beat Southampton 3-2 thanks to Samir Nasri's late winner at Eastlands yesterday.
After an early missed penalty from David Silva, the champions appeared to be on course for another home victory thanks to a goal just before the interval from Carlos Tevez, only for Southampton substitutes Rickie Lambert and Steven Davis to each score within minutes of their introductions.
That sparked a frantic finale which brought back memories of the final day of last season when City scored twice in stoppage-time to beat QPR and win the English title for the first time in 44 years.
They didn't leave it quite that late this time as Edin Dzeko equalised with 18 minutes remaining before France midfielder Nasri struck 10 minutes from full-time to preserve City's unbeaten home run, which now dates back to December 2010.
Nasri's winner eased the anxiety that had been building among City supporters during an entertaining encounter, particularly following an apparently nasty injury suffered by Sergio Aguero in the early stages.
The Argentinian, scorer of the goal that brought City the Premier League title on their last home appearance three months ago, was tackled cleanly by Southampton full-back Nathaniel Clyne, twisting his knee awkwardly as he went to ground.
After lengthy treatment, Aguero was stretchered off, amid natural concerns from players and supporters alike, and the mood around Eastlands was not helped by Silva's appalling penalty miss after 16 minutes.
Tevez, turning onto a neat through ball from Nasri, was clearly tripped by Jos Hooiveld just inside the area, presenting Silva with the perfect opportunity to set City's season rolling.