Man City recovers to open title defense with win


Associated Press

Posted on August 20, 2012 at 5:00 AM

Updated Monday, Aug 20 at 5:01 AM

LONDON (AP) — Manchester City fought back after a second-half collapse against Southampton and opened its title defense Sunday with a 3-2 victory against the Premier League newcomers.

Carlos Tevez put City ahead in the 40th minute, but Southampton built a 2-1 lead on goals by second-half substitutes Rickie Lambert in the 59th and Steven Davis in the 68th.

Edin Dzeko, who entered in the 14th minute after Sergio Aguero injured his right knee, tied the score in the 72nd and Samir Nasri scored the go-ahead goal eight minutes later. City is unbeaten in 30 league home games (28-0-2) since a 2-1 loss to Everton on Dec. 20, 2010.

In Sunday's other game, Chelsea won 2-0 at visiting Wigan 2-0. In his Blues debut, Eden Hazard set up Branislav Ivanovic's goal in the second minute, then was fouled by Ivan Ramis, leading to Frank Lampard's penalty kick in the seventh minute.

Aguero said on Twitter that "the studies I had done revealed there's no significant injury but it was a very tough hit to my knee. Tomorrow, the physicians will evaluate the time it will take for me to recover."


BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Barcelona routed visiting Real Sociedad 5-1 in the debut of Tito Vilanova as Blaugrana coach, with Lionel Messi scoring twice and David Villa getting his first goal since breaking a leg in December. Real Madrid opened its title defense with a 1-1 tie at home against Valencia.

At Barcelona, Carles Puyol scored in the fourth minute on a header off Xavi Hernandez's corner kick, but Gonzalo Castro tied it five minutes later. Messi, coming off record totals of 50 league goals and 73 overall last season, scored in the 11th and 16th minutes for a 3-1 lead. Pedro Rodriguez scored in the 41st and Villa replaced him in the 75th and netted nine minutes later off a pass from Andres Iniesta. It was the first competitive match for Villa since he broke his left leg Dec. 15 at the Club World Cup.

In Madrid, Gonzalo Higuain put the hosts ahead in the 10th minute only for Jonas to tie the score in the 42nd as Valencia earned a draw in the debut of coach Mauricio Pellegrino.

Also on Sunday, Real Betis won 5-3 at Athletic Bilbao after the hosts rallied from a three-goal deficit to tie the score. Atletico Madrid drew 1-1 at Levante.


AMSTERDAM (AP) — American forward Jozy Altidore scored twice as AZ Alkmaar won 3-1 at home over Heracles in the Dutch league on Sunday, helping his team rise to third in the standings. Altidore has four goals in his first two games.

Ajax won 6-1 at NEC, moving to second above AZ on goal difference. Twente leads with two victories in two matches


BERLIN (AP) — American forward Matt Taylor scored a hat trick and set up another goal in the German Cup as third division Preussen Muenster beat Werder Bremen 4-2 in overtime.

Bremen was just one of four Bundesliga teams to be knocked out by lower-ranked opposition in the first round, with Hamburg, Nuremberg and Eintracht Frankfurt all losing on the hottest day of the year across much of Germany.

Taylor's exploits began after Eljero Elia put Bremen ahead just before halftime.

Bremen defender Sokratis Papastathopoulos was sent off in the 108th minute, and Taylor completed his hat trick 10 minutes later.


PARIS (AP) — Paris Saint-Germain remained winless in the French league after drawing 0-0 with Ajaccio, increasing pressure on coach Carlo Ancelotti.

High-spending PSG (0-0-2) played a man short after Ezequiel Lavezzi received a red card for a dangerous tackle on Ajaccio's Benjamin Andre in the 59th.

PSG also played the last 15 minutes of the match without Ancelotti after the Italian was dismissed for throwing a bottle.

A power outage late in the game sent the field into darkness. After 10 minutes, the lights in Ajaccio's Francois Coty stadium came back on and the match resumed for the final two minutes.

PSG defender Christophe Jallet said a "lack of aggression" by his team early in the match cost them.

In Sunday's other results, Andre-Pierre Gignac and Rod Fanni scored to give Marseille a 2-0 win against Sochaux and Bordeaux defeated Rennes 1-0 from a goal by Ludovic Obraniak.


COPENHAGEN (AP) — American defender Michael Parkhurst scored in the 75th minute, giving defending Danish champion Nordsjaelland a 1-0 win at Aarhus.


GLASGOW (AP) — Johnny Russell scored twice before being sent off as Dundee United eased to a 3-0 victory over newly promoted Dundee on Sunday.

Both teams had to play the final 20 minutes a man short after tackles between Dundee captain Stephen O'Donnell and Russell sparked a melee. When order was restored both Russell and O'Donnell were sent off.