Sergio Aguero injury blow as Man City beat Saints 3-2
Premier League champions may have to review transfer plans if Aguero's injury is serious
Manchester City opened the defence of their league title with a 3-2 win over Southampton but the victory was marred by a serious knee injury to striker Sergio Aguero.
The Argentine – City's top scorer when they won the Premier League last season - twisted his right knee in a challenge from the Saints' Nathaniel Clyne on eight minutes. Though Aguero tried to shake off the knock he soon collapsed to the ground in agony and was stretched off to the dismay of the Etihad fans.
"The studies I had done revealed no significant injury but it was a tough hit to my knee," Aguero tweeted later. "Tomorrow [Monday], the physicians will evaluate the time it will take for me to recover."
Despite his player's encouraging message, Manchester City manager Roberto Mancini refused to speculate on the extent of the injury, telling reporters: "We need to wait maybe two days for the scans. We hope it's not serious, but at this stage I don't know. I'm worried, yes."
If Aguero is sidelined for a long period with ligament damage Mancini admitted "we will probably change our transfer plans". Edin Dzeko replaced the injured Argentine and scored one of City's three goals, as did fellow frontman Carlos Tevez, with midfielder Samir Nasri getting the winning goal on 80 minutes after Southampton had taken a shock 2-1 lead early in the second half.
City also have the mercurial Mario Balotelli in their squad but it may be that City will splash out on a big name replacement if scans reveal the Aguero injury is serious.
Mancini appeared unconcerned by his side's shaky start to the defence of their title in which they conceded goals to Rickie Lambert and Steven Davis before coming good late in the second half. "We deserved to win the game," said the Italian. "They didn't have any chances in the first half and we had four or five incredible chances. The first two or three games could be like this because we are not 100 per cent."
European champions Chelsea opened their Premier League campaign with a comfortable 2-0 win away at Wigan Athletic with both goals coming in the first seven minutes. New signing Eden Hazard had a hand in each, first teeing up Branislav Ivanovic for his strike on two minutes and then winning a penalty five minutes later. Frank Lampard scored from the spot.
Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo later professed himself delighted with Hazard's debut display. "Hazard was outstanding," he said of the Belgian playmaker who joined for £32m in June. "He's got great technical ability. He's got a burst of pace as well, he can play with his back to goal and he's got a lot that he can bring to our team."