Live Commentary: Manchester City 3-2 Southampton - as it happened

The Etihad Stadium
© PA Photos
Sports Mole brings you live commentary of today's Premier League encounter between Manchester City and Southampton at the Etihad.

Good afternoon and welcome to Sports Mole's live commentary of today's Premier League encounter between Manchester City and Southampton at the Etihad Stadium.

City dropped just two home points on their way to the league title last season, while they have won 27 of their last 29 games on their own turf.

They also topped the goal scoring charts in the league last season – scoring 93 times as they pipped rivals Manchester United on the final day of the campaign.

Meanwhile, Southampton topped the goal scoring charts in the Championship last season as they struck 85 goals to secure second spot in England's second tier.

>Full team news for the match

Please note that kickoff is at 4pm.


6.06pmThat's just about it from me. Thanks for joining Sports Mole for the action and be sure to join us for Everton vs. Manchester United on Monday evening. Until then!

6.04pmMy word. It's over. So wins for Chelsea and Manchester City today as both get off to the best possible start - now it's over to Manchester United tomorrow.

6.02pmIt's three 3-2 wins in a row for City, while Southampton have performed admirably on their return to the Premier League.

6pmSo there we have it. City complete the turnaround to secure three points in their opening match of the season. Southampton scored twice in the second period to lead 2-1, but late goals from Dzeko and Nasri secured the victory.

FULL-TIMEManchester City 3-2 Southampton

90 min+2It's looks to have gone for the away side, but they can hold their heads ever so high. Just brilliant from the Saints.

90 minPressure from Southampton at the moment, it's brilliant from them. Meanwhile, we will play three added minutes.

88 minIt's pressure from Southampton in the final moments, but they just cannot seem to force it through. Meanwhile, change for City as Tevez is replaced by Aleksandar Kolarov.

86 minThird and final change for Southampton as Billy Sharp replaces Puncheon. Can the Saints rally one more time?

86 minAnother sighter for Southampton as Fonte meets a bouncing ball in the box, but he fires it high and wide of the crossbar.

84 minHalf-chance for Southampton as Schneiderlain strikes one from the edge of the box, but it deflects behind for a corner - which Lescott heads clear.

82 minSouthampton have only themselves to blame, they just kept retreating into their own box. Can they respond in the final 10 minutes?

80 minCity complete the turnaround as Nasri smashes it home from inside the box. Again it was poor defending from Southampton.

80 minGOAL! Man City 3-2 Southampton (Nasri)

80 minI'm not sure if Southampton have had possession in the past 10 minutes. But they continue to defend well around the edge of their box.

78 minChance! So close for City as Zabaleta finds the head of Dzeko, but he heads it just wide of the post.

76 minGet out cries Atkins, but they simply cannot get out of their own half. It is attack versus defence at the moment - as Davis pushes a Toure effort wide.

76 minIt's all City at the moment as they force corner after corner, it is going to be a long long 15 minutes for the Saints.

74 minChance! City so nearly take the lead as Tevez finds Balotelli at the back post, but somehow he fires wide. End-to-end at the moment.

72 minCity level and it's poor from Southampton as Dzeko taps home from close range.

72 minManchester City 2-2 Southampton (Dzeko)

72 minCity have had 81% of the ball in the second period, but they are behind. Meanwhile, Balotelli does indeed replace Silva.

72 minYou just do not get this in any other league in the world. Can City recover? It appears that Balotelli will be introduced for the home side.

70 minYou just cannot write this! 20 minutes remaining and the Saints lead. Incredible!

68 minOh my word! Southampton lead as Davis smashes an effort into the bottom corner from outside the box. It was Rodwell's mistake.

68 minManchester City 1-2 Southampton (Davis)

67 minHowever, the Argentine's effort is deflected behind for a corner - which is headed clear by Fonte.

67 minFree kick City in an advanced position as Fonte fells Silva on the edge of the box. Chance for the home side here. It appears that Tevez will take it.

65 minSecond change for the Saints as Steven Davis replaces the youngster Ward-Prowse. Bit of experience in there now.

64 minPass, pass, pass from City at the moment as they probe around the Southampton box. It's simply one-way traffic at the moment.

64 minSouthampton just need to push out here, they are sinking deeper and deeper - and Fonte just denies Rodwell in the box. They cannot afford to try and hang on here.

62 minI think Southampton are going to be in for a long long 30 minutes. They are on the attack with Zabaleta down the right, but Fox plays it out for a throw.

60 minWell that certainly changes things! What a strike from Lambert. Can City respond? We have 30 minutes remaining.

59 minSouthampton are level! It's the sub who scores it as Lambert strikes it into the bottom corner from inside the box. Brilliant.

59 min GOAL! Man City 1-1 Southampton (Lambert)

59 minBest spell of the second period for Southampton as they flood forward. It seems that the addition of Lambert has helped them. Meanwhile, Tevez fires just wide on the counter attack.

57 minSighter for Southampton as Ward-Prowse strikes an effort from outside the box, but Kompany blocks the effort. Meanwhile, Lambert hits just wide from close range.

55 minChance! Another wonderful chance for City as Tevez finds Silva in the box, but he hits the crossbar. Meanwhile, Southampton change as Lambert replaces Rodriguez.

54 minPenalty shout for City as Toure strikes one from outside the box, but it landed in the middle of a host of Saints defenders. Meanwhile, Lambert will soon join the action.

53 minChance! Another huge chance for City as Toure finds Clichy in the box, but he fires it over from close range.

53 minGuly looks like he has just run a marathon for Southampton. He has had no service today - and looks shattered. Surely the Saints have to change it as City continue to attack.

51 minChance! Wonderful chance for City to make it two as Nasri finds Dzeko in the box, but somehow he fires it straight at Davis. It's been all City in this half.

49 minUpdate: Aguero to go for MRI scan. Although it is understood that it is not as bad as first feared. Good news for City.

47 minSome bad news for Southampton: City scored 63 of their 93 Premier League goals in the second half of games last season. I am sure they will be delighted to learn that.

45 minSouthampton get us underway in the second half. I wonder how long it will be until we see Lambert for the Saints?

5.06pmHere we go then. Both sets of players are emerging onto the pitch ahead of the second period. What will the second 45 bring.

5.04pmHowever, if Southampton do manage to level it at 1-1. Then we will have a real match on our hands. Only time will tell.

5.02pmOur report of the opening half can be found here. Meanwhile, the next goal decides this match. If City score, it's good night.

5pmThe bad news for City, however, is that they have lost Aguero to what seemed a serious injury. We will bring you the latest on that when it becomes apparent.

4.58pmThe Saints do have the option of Rickie Lambert from the bench, while they could also introduce former Rangers midfielder Steven Davis to add balance to the middle of the park.

4.56pmSouthampton have defended superbly, but the goal before the interval changes the entire feel of the match. They simply have to come out in the second period - and you worry that City will pick them off.

4.54pmIn truth, City dominated the last 15 minutes of the half - and perhaps should have entered the break further ahead.

4.52pmSo there we have it. City score five minutes before the break to secure a half-time lead over Southampton. It was the Saints who started the better, but Silva missed the chance to put City ahead via the spot early on. They did secure the lead, however, when Tevez slotted home inside the box.

HALF-TIMEMan City 1-0 Southampton

45 min+2Chance! Southampton just cannot get out as Tevez strikes an effort from inside the box, but Davis pushes it to safety.

45 min+2Glorious chance to make it two for City as Zabaleta slips a low cross into the box, but it just evades Dzeko.

45 minWe will play an additional four minutes at the end of the half - and City are pushing for their second.

44 minIt's just all City at the moment and Southampton simply cannot get out their own half. The Saints need the interval in order to regroup.

42 minI'm not entirely sure why the flag was not raised there - he was offside. But City don't mind and they now lead. It's a huge goal in the context of the match.

40 minCity lead and it's Tevez who slips the ball past Davis from close range. Although the Argentine did look offside.

40 minGOAL! Man City 1-0 Southampton (Tevez)

40 minSouthampton continue to defend like soldiers in their own box - clearing every danger.

38 minAnother sighter for City as Nasri finds Dzeko in the box, but the Bosnian just heads it wide of the target. Little over five minutes of the half remaining.

36 minHowever, Nasri gets up highest to clear the danger for a corner - which Rodriguez heads just wide of the target.

36 minFree kick Southampton in a dangerous position as Zabaleta handles a Fox cross. Lallana will take it. Don't waste it.

34 minChance for Southampton to attack as Clyne finds Lallana in attack, but Lescott makes the block before Fonte denies Tevez at the other end.

32 minHalf-chance for Tevez as he picks up possession on the edge of the box, but his shot is straight at Davis in the Southampton goal.

32 minSouthampton are camped on the edge of their own box at the moment - with everything going straight back from where it came from. The goal looks to be coming.

30 minWonderful defending from Fonte as he cuts out a Silva cross which looked destined for the head of Dzeko. It's all City at the moment.

28 minAgain another City attack breaks down as Toure attempts to find Silva, but Davis is on hand to collect possession. Southampton will be delighted with the opening 28 minutes.

26 minSouthmapton are refusing to play it long as they continue to pass and probe around the City box. What a wonderful advert for the Premier League this is.

24 minIt just isn't quite happening for City at the moment as Zabaleta's cross is cut out by Fox. Meanwhile, the noise is all coming from the away fans.

22 minWe haven't seen much from Guly in the Southampton attack thus far, but the Saints remain nice and compact in midfield. They need to keep it tight as City enjoy more and more of the ball.

20 minSighter for City as Tevez picks up possession outside the box, but he is crowded out at the vital moment. Really watchable encounter at the moment.

19 minWow. What a start we have had to this match. An injury, a penalty, chances for both sides. And we are just 20 minutes in! Southampton look in the mood for an upset.

17 minDAVIS SAVES THE PENALTY! Poor from Silva as he rolls it straight down the middle. We remain level.

16 minManchester City are awarded a penalty as Hooiveld chops down Tevez in the box. Silva will take it.

16 minPENALTY TO CITY

16 minCity are just beginning to gain possession of the ball, but Southampton remain a real threat on the counter attack. End-to-end match in the opening 16 minutes.

14 minSouthampton really have made a bright start to this match. Meanwhile, Dzeko does indeed replace Aguero.

14 minAguero leaves the pitch on a stretcher. It looks nasty. It appears that Dzeko will be joining the action. Big blow for City.

12 minSighter for Southampton as Morgan Scheiderlin strikes an effort from outside the box, but it's wide. Meanwhile, Southampton have a penalty shout as Lescott chops down Rodriguez. Ref?!

11 minAguero is back on his feet. Meanwhile, the game is back underway with Southampton on the ball.

10 minAguero remains on the ground. It doesn't look like he will be able to carry on. Balotelli and Dzeko are both warming up on the sideline.

8 minAguero looks to be in trouble here as he is chopped down by Clyne - it was a wonderful challenge from the full-back. He may not be able to continue here.

8 minA mistake from Lallana so nearly lets Sergio Aguero advance into the middle of the box, but the Saints manage to clear and launch another attack of their own.

6 minImpressive football from Southampton as they attempt to play their way through midfield, but Clyne's cross is headed clear by Lescott. The newly-promoted side have come to play this afternoon.

4 minReally bright start from Southampton as Jay Rodriguez slips in Guly, but Jack Rodwell makes the challenge. Meanwhile, Samir Nasri clears the danger from the resulting corner.

2 minCity enjoy early possession of the ball - as you would expect. Meanwhile, David Silva is being sent from the pitch to change the tape on his socks!

1 minHere we go then. Manchester City get us underway on this humid afternoon at the Etihad Stadium. Wonderful atmosphere inside the ground.

3.59pmHandshakes? Check. Flags exchanged? Check. Let's get this show on the road.

3.58pmHere we go then. Both sets of players are emerging onto the pitch ahead of kickoff. Kompany and Lallana skipper the two sides this afternoon.

3.56pmJust a reminder that Manchester United complete the opening round of Premier League fixtures when they travel to Everton tomorrow. We are well and truly back!

3.54pmRight, we are just about five minutes from kickoff. Spare a thought for City striker Edin Dzeko - who will have to get used to that spot on the bench this season. Carlos Tevez decides he wants to come back - and gets back into the team. How does the Bosnian view that?

3.52pmSaint boss Nigel Atkins has explained his reasons for dropping Rickie Lambert - hinting that he needed to tighten up the midfield.

3.50pmMeanwhile, what an incredible afternoon it is for 17-year-old midfielder James Ward-Prowse who makes his debut for Southampton this afternoon. Incredible.

3.48pmWhat of this afternoon then? Will City hand out a lesson to Southampton - or will we be shocked on the opening weekend of the season?

3.46pmSouthampton began last season with an opening day win against Leeds United, although it was the first time they had won their first match of the season this century.

3.44pmIn four of the last five seasons City have started the league campaign with a clean sheet. Meanwhile, they have not lost a home match on the opening day since 1999. But records are there to be broken!

3.42pmThe last time the two sides met was in the FA Cup in 2007 - when City overcame Southampton 3-1 in Manchester. Meanwhile, City recorded a 2-1 win over the Saints in the Premier League in 2005.

3.40pmIf various reports are to be believed, then the Saints will soon complete the transfer of much-coveted Bologna midfielder Gaston Ramirez. Meanwhile, they also hand debuts to Nathaniel Clyne and Steven Davis.

3.38pmCity are without Gareth Barry and Micah Richards through injury today, while Mario Balotelli is only deemed fit enough for a spot on the bench. Meanwhile, Southampton midfielder Jack Cork has not recovered from an ankle knock.

3.36pmHowever, the last 16 Premier League meetings between City and Southampton has seen the away side win seven. Meanwhile, the home outfit has won just four. There's something for the Saints to hang onto this afternoon!

3.36pmIt is hardly the match that Southampton would have wished for on their return to the Premier League. The history is not with them either - just one promoted Premier League side has won their opening game in the last three seasons.

3.34pmMeanwhile, Southampton hand a debut to Jay Rodriguez in attack, but Rickie Lambert begins the match on the bench.

3.32pmSo there we have it. Joe Hart also returns for Manchester City, while David Silva and Samir Nasri also start in midfield.

3.30pmFull team news:

Manchester City: Hart; Zabaleta, Kompany, Lescott, Clichy; Toure, Rodwell; Silva, Nasri, Aguero; Tevez

Southampton: Davis; Clyne, Fonte, Hooiveld, Fox; Ward-Prowse, Schneiderlin, Lallana; Puncheon, Guly, Rodriguez

3.30pmBREAKING: Jack Rodwell makes his debut for Manchester City. Full team news for both teams to follow.

3.30pmThere was also a win for Chelsea in today's early kickoff - when they struck twice in the opening seven minutes on their way to a 2-0 win over Wigan Athletic.

3.30pmHello all! Well what an opening weekend to the season it has been thus far. Comprehensive wins for Fulham and Swansea City came on Saturday. Meanwhile, West Bromwich Albion, West Ham United and Newcastle United also got their seasons off to the best possible start.


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