By Steven Oldham, Sports Correspondent
Samir Nasri's late winner saved Manchester City's blushes as the reigning Premier League champions were made to work hard for a 3-2 victory over newly-promoted Southampton today.
City were trailing 2-1 after 70 minutes, after Rickie Lambert and Steven Davis gave the Saints a surprise lead, cancelling out Carlos Tevez's first-half opener.
Never a team to do things the easy way, City were level on 72 minutes thanks to substitue Edin Dzeko, who was called into action after just 14 minutes as Sergio Aguero was stretchered off with a knee injury.
City continued to press and their expected win materialised when Nasri drove home a Gael Clichy cross with ten minutes left on the clock.
Boss Roberto Mancini admitted his team were not firing on all cylinders but was adamant his side deserved all three points.
He said: "We did some mistakes but the big problem was we missed five or six chances when we were 1-0 and then it changed.
"We deserved to win the game. They didn't have any chances in the first half and we had four or five incredible chances.
"The first two or three games could be like this because we are not 100 percent."
One such chance was a missed penalty from David Silva, with Southampton keeper Kelvin Davis saving the spot kick after Tevez was brought down in the box by Jos Hooiveld.
Aguero - City's top scorer last season with 23 goals - will need a scan to determine the extent of the damage, suffered as the Argentine was involved in a seemingly harmless challenge from Nathaniel Clyne.
Southampton did not look like a team who have been absent from the Premier League since 2005 - and were efficicent in scoring two goals from their only two shots on target.
City however maintained their record of never losing their opening game in the Premier League and their attention will now turn to next Sunday's trip to Liverpool, who suffered a surprise 3-0 defeat yesterday in Brendan Rodgers' first match in charge.
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