The defending Champions claimed a 3-2 victory over new boys Southampton, but not with the ease that would have been expected of them.
Things didn’t run smoothly for City from the outset. Sergio Aguero was stretchered off after thirteen minutes with a knee injury, and David Silva missed a penalty only minutes later. The penalty was given after Jos Hooiveld fouled Carlos Tevez, but goalkeeper Kelvin Davis stopped it with relative ease.
Southampton defended persistently after a confidence boost from the save. Although City managed to maintain eighty percent of the possession, Southampton gave them no room to create chances with it. A goal for City finally came after forty minutes, when Carlos Tevez manages to squeeze a goal in the bottom right corner of the net, after an assist from Samir Nasri.
City piled on the pressure on in the rest of the first half with shots from Nasri, Tevez and Silva, but all were blocked by the Southampton goalkeeper.
The second half pretty much picked up where the first half left off. Davis once again managed to save two shots fired his way from Carlos Tevez. Southampton managed to gain the ball in the 58th minute and substitute Ricky Lambert found the net with a goal from the edge of the area to the bottom right corner of the goal. Southampton’s confidence grew and less than ten minutes later Steven Davis scores to put Southampton 2-1 ahead of the reigning Champions.
Mancini made a tactical change with replacing David Silva for Mario Balotelli, and shortly after Edin Dzeko found the back of the net bringing City back level with their relentless opponents. City pushed forward but were persistently thrown back by the Southampton defence, until Samir Nasri managed to break costless and score a goal in the left corner of the net after an assist from Gael Clichy.
The Champions found themselves once again in the leading position with only ten minutes to go, but didn’t manage to defend in the cal borough expected from them. Despite being obviously worn out, Southampton persisted and demanded a great deal of the possession. For a team that was playing in league one just two years ago, they certainly managed to keep the reigning Champions on their toes right up until the final whistle blew.
Manchester City are once again victorious at home, leaving them now thirty games unbeaten at the Etihad Stadium, but Southampton certainly showed their Premiership worth.