City were back in action at Eastlands for the first time since they clinched the club’s first English title for 44 years with a sensational 3-2 victory over QPR on the final day of last season.
Roberto Mancini’s side had trailed 2-1 before scoring twice in stoppage-time that day to pip Man United on goal difference and they had to recover from the same deficit to see off newly-promoted Southampton in another enthralling encounter.
Sergio Aguero was stretchered off within the first 15 minutes following a challenge from Southampton’s debutant defender Nathaniel Clyne. To make matters worse for City, they squandered a chance to take the lead in the 19th minute when David Silva’s tame penalty was easily saved by Kelvin Davis after Carlos Tevez was tripped by Jos Hooiveld. Tevez did open the scoring in the 40th minute.
However, Saints striker Rickie Lambert came on to curl in the equaliser in the 59th minute. Southampton were on course for a stunning win when Steven Davis slotted home in the 68th minute. But Edin Dzeko equalised four minutes later and Samir Nasri completed City’s latest escape act with a fine finish in the 80th minute.