FOOTBALL: Nasri hails City spirit after fightback against Saints

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MANCHESTER City midfielder Samir Nasri was a relieved man after his side survived a scare at the Etihad Stadium to come from 2-1 down to beat Southampton 3-2 yesterday.

David Silva missed a penalty before Carlos Tevez opened the scoring before goals from Rickie Lambert and Steven Davis gave Southampton hope of a shock victory.

But Bosnian Edin Dzeko restored parity before Nasri scored in the 80th minute.

Nasri was happy that his side managed to come back to win the game. He said: “It was like the last game of the season (when City beat QPR 3-2 to win the title), we’ve started the same and I hope at the end it will be the same result for us. It was a difficult game.

“Southampton played really good football. It reminds me a little bit of Swansea last year, it was difficult but at the end we got three points. Sometimes it’s a little bit difficult when you miss the first chance of the game, it can make the confidence a little bit low and they punished us. But I thought we showed great character.”

Chelsea boss Roberto Di Matteo hailed “outstanding” Eden Hazard as the Blues new boy set up both goals on his Barclays Premier League debut in their 2-0 victory over Wigan.

The Belgian midfielder was the European champions’ most high-profile signing of the summer, arriving from Lille for a reported £32million in June.

And he wasted little time making an impact in the league opener at the DW Stadium, setting up Branislav Ivanovic for the first goal inside two minutes and then winning the penalty that Frank Lampard scored to make it two after only seven minutes.

Di Matteo said: “He showed all his quality today, he was outstanding. He combined very well with his team-mates, was a threat, exactly what we were looking for.

“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.”