Samir Nasri struck an 80th minute winner asManchester City came from behind to begin the defence of their Premier League title with a patchy 3-2 win over promotedSouthampton on Sunday.
In similar scenes to May when they came back to beat Queens Park Rangers 3-2 to seal the title, City went ahead through Carlos Tevezin the first half only for Southampton substitutes Rickie Lambertand Steven Davis to stun the home crowd.
Edin Dzeko then equalised following a corner and France midfielder Nasri took advantage of some lax defending to ram the ball home for Roberto Mancini’s men, who lost Sergio Aguero to an early knee injury and missed a penalty through David Silva.
New Chelsea winger Eden Hazard earlier lived up to all the hype inside the first seven minutes of his league debut by setting up both goals in a 2-0 win at Wigan Athletic.
First he expertly turned marker Ivan Ramis to release right back Branislav Ivanovic, who ran in and coolly slotted home in the second minute having been allowed to play despite a red card in the 3-2 Community Shield loss to City last Sunday.
Hazard then danced his way into the box and was carelessly upended by error-prone Wigan debutant Ramis, leaving Frank Lampard to slam in the seventh-minute penalty.
Manchester United and new striker Robin van Persie open their 2012/13 campaign at Everton on Monday (1900 GMT).
For more news from Khaleej Times, follow us on Facebook at facebook.com/khaleejtimes, and on Twitter at @khaleejtimes