Game in a sentence
City open their title defense with an exhilarating come from behind victory over Southampton.
- It was all smiles at Etihad to begin. England’s reigning champions began their title defense in front of a raucous crowd. Kudos to the camera operator who captured the ‘All games should be finished at the same time – Alex Ferguson” banner held by City supporters. Well played.
- The visitors intended on spoiling the party, displaying the ambition they’ll need to stay in the top flight – I hope they do. Always nice to see one of the original premiership teams back where they should be. Daniel Fox was excellent in the opening moments of the match, attacking Gael Clichy with success on the flank. Joleon Lescott should’ve been booked for his challenge on Jay Rodriguez in the box – perhaps at St.Mary’s they get that call.
- The celebration was muted in the tenth minute. Sergio Aguero was stretchered off the field after a strong challenge by Nathaniel Clyne. Initial replays point to a knee/ankle – not a doctor, clearly – injury. City officials have indicated the injury isn’t as bad as first feared . Football is a better place when the top players compete. Hopefully the Argentinian striker is back soon.
- City’s depth is remarkable. In Aguero’s place came Edin Dzeko – favored by Mancini over Mario Balotelli. City began to dictate play. Carlos Tevez – looking quite slim – forced Jos Hooiveld to make a 50/50 challenge that resulted in a penalty. David Silva absolutely bottled the ensuing kick – somewhere Shane Long is smiling.
- The home side maintained their momentum. Samir Nasri delivered an excellent ball to the foot of Tevez, who cashed City’s first goal of the season in the 40th minute. The striker appeared to be slightly offside but the marker stood.
- Heard a variation of the phrase “welcome to the top flight” several times this weekend. Please stop, people. For the love of all that is good.
- Rickie Lambert – the championship’s RvP last season (31 goals) – came on for Rodriguez in the 55th minute. Four minutes later the former seasider equalized for the Saints.
- Cue the madness. Southampton’s second substitute – Steven Davis – took just three minutes before putting the underdogs ahead in the 68th minute after capitalizing on a Jack Rodwell giveaway. For a few moments Nigel Adkins was your premiership manager of the year. Watching the small section of Saints supporters in Etihad celebrate was pretty damn cool.
- “That’s why they’re the champions.” Dzeko made it 2-2 in the 72nd minute. The reaction from both the City players and fans said it all, they expected it. Winning is a strange drug, ain’t it. Samir Nasri pushed City ahead in the 80th minute after a brutal play by the aforementioned Daniel Fox.
- And thus, order was restored. This was easily the game of the weekend. Though it was overshadowed by the stunning scenes in the second half, Sergio Aguero’s injury will mar an otherwise special day at the Eastlands.
Update: Good news
The studies I had done revealed there’s no significant injury but it was a very tough hit to my knee.
— Sergio Aguero (@aguerosergiokun) August 19, 2012
1. Samir Nasri
2. Rickie Lambert
3. Carlos Tevez