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Manchester City 3 Saints 2
2:41pm Sunday 19th August 2012 in Saints News
This live event has finished
- Manchester City beat Saints 3-2.
- Dzeko and Nasri strike late to rescue game for champions.
- Subs Lambert and Davis had put visitors 2-1 up after Tevez opener.
- 17-year-old James Ward-Prowse starts his first ever league match.
FULL-TIME: MANCHESTER CITY 3 SAINTS 2. A fine effort from Nigel Adkins' men, who fought back from a goal down to lead 2-1, before City turned the game on its head late on.
Nigel Adkins has made his final throw of the dice, bringing on Billy Sharp for Jason Puncheon. The last two subs scored within moments of coming on, so you never know.
GOAL (80): MANCHESTER CITY 3 SAINTS 2. Clichy's cross from the left towards the back post looks harmless enough, but Fox inexplicably heads the ball sstraight to Nasri, who slams home from 12 yards out.
GOAL (72): MANCHESTER CITY 2 SAINTS 2. Kompany's shot from the edge of the area hits Toure and eventually drops to Dzeko a few yards out to sweep home and level the score.
GOAL (67): MANCHESTER CITY 1 SAINTS 2. Quite simply astonishing. Steven Davis receives a lay off from Lallana and fires a perfectly-placed right foot shot into the far corner. Like Lambert, the midfielder had only just been brought on when he scored.
GOAL (59): MANCHESTER CITY 1 SAINTS 1. Incredible! Rickie Lambert places a beautiful shot past Joe Hart to equalise for Saints moments after coming on. Slightly fortunate the ball broke for him just inside the area, but the finish was sublime.
55mins: Substitution for Saints. Jay Rodriguez off, Rickie Lambert on. City are all over Saints right now, though. David Silva clipped the cross bar from just outside the six-yard box.
52mins: Now it's Clichy's turn to miss from six yards. Yaya Toure's angled ball to the back post picks out his run, but the left-back blazes over.
49mins: Tremendous skill from Nasri to beat Clyne on the byline, before picking out Dzeko six yards out. The City striker makes a terrible connection with the ball, though, leaving Davis to comfortably pluck it out of the air.
Saints get the second half underway. They will be kicking towards their own fans in this half.
HALF-TIME: Manchester City 1 Saints 0. Saints have been under enormous pressure since conceding, and will probably be slightly relieved to have reached the break just one behind. Undoubtedly some positives for Adkins' men to take, but City look like they are starting to hit their stride.
GOAL (40): MANCHESTER CITY 1 SAINTS 0. Nasri's clever through pass released Tevez, who peeled off Fonte and slotted past Davis at his near post.
32mins: Tevez works some room on the edge of the area, but hits a tame shot straight at Davis.
Saints have reached the half-hour mark with the score still 0-0. The game descended into a quiet spell after the penalty miss, with Saints retaining possession well, but City are slowly beginning to exert a bit of pressure again.
MANCHESTER CITY PENALTY (17): Carlos Tevez is tripped in the box after turning Jos Hooiveld. David Silva steps up to take it and MISSES. A poor penalty - he almost passed it back to Kelvin Davis, who guessed the right way and made the save.
Manchester City have lost Sergio Aguero to injury. The forward damaged his ankle in a tackle from Nathaniel Clyne. No complaints about the challenge from the full-back, though. Edin Dzeko is on in place of Aguero.
Saints will be pleased with their start here. They have kept City at bay so far and have even managed a couple of forays deep into the hosts' territory. The game is still awaiting its first opportunity, though.
Manchester City get the game underway. They will be kicking towards the end housing the Saints fans...
The teams are on their way out of the tunnel to a huge roar from the supporters inside the stadium. Kick-off is in a few minutes.
The teams are out on the pitch at the Etihad Stadium for their warm-ups. The rain that has dogged Manchester for most of the day appears to have eased off, although it is still very overcast.
Good luck to every1 involved with #saintsfc today! First day back in the prem! It's what everyone's waited for. So let's make the most of it— @jackcork1 19 August 2012
Manchester City: Pantimilion, Kolarov, Savic, De Jong, Milner, Balotelli, Dzeko.
Saints: Gazzaniga, Lambert, S. Davis, Sharp, Richardson, Shaw, Seaborne.
The Saints team is now in, and there are some real surprises here. Rickie Lambert is benched, while 17-year-old James Ward-Prowse, who has never played a minute of league football, starts. Adam Lallana captains the side.
Saints: Davis; Clyne, Fonte, Hooiveld, Fox; Ward-Prowse, Schneiderlin, Lallana; Puncheon, Guly, Rodriguez.
The Manchester City team is in. Those of a nervous disposition might want to look away now.
Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy; Y Toure, Rodwell, Silva, Nasri; Tevez, Aguero.
Mancini on Saints in his programme notes: "Southampton are new to the Premier League and we congratulate them on winning promotion last season from the Championship. They will come here feeling that they have nothing to lose because people will say that they aren't expected to beat the champions on their own ground. We must make sure our attitude and mentality is correct from the start of the game. Southampton will have the excitement of being back in the Premier League and we must try to make sure that they do not enjoy their return - at least until next week!"
Welcome to the new season. Saints begin their Premier League campaign with arguably the toughest fixture that awaits them all year - an away trip to defending champions Manchester City. Can Nigel Adkins' team pull of a famous shock result, or will Roberto Mancini's side cruise to the victory that many expect them to? The Daily Echo will have updates here for you throughout the afternoon from the Etihad Stadium.